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Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway scuffles with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson during a game on Nov. 18, 2019, in Washington.The Associated Press

Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway has been suspended three games for spitting on an opponent.

The NHL announced Hathaway’s suspension on Wednesday after a hearing with him. He will forfeit US$24,194 in salary.

Toward the end of a heated brawl between the Capitals and Ducks on Monday night, Hathaway responded to a rabbit punch from Erik Gudbranson by spitting on the Anaheim defenceman. Hathaway was ejected with a match penalty that carried with it an automatic suspending pending review by the league.

Hathaway said he regretted spitting on Gudbranson and called it an emotional moment. He will miss Washington’s games against the New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers.

The 27-year-old has been a strong addition to the Capitals since they signed him in July. With Washington in salary cap trouble because of injuries and the suspension, the team put winger Carl Hagelin on long-term injured reserve and Nic Dowd on injured reserve and recalled two minor league forwards to play Wednesday night at New York.

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