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Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Mikhail Sergachev.The Associated Press

The NHL has suspended Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Mikhail Sergachev two games for an illegal check to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner.

The incident occurred at 17:47 of the first period of Toronto’s 2-1 overtime win over Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Victor Hedman hooked Marner before Sergachev immediately followed with a check to the head on the Leafs forward.

Sergachev was assessed a minor penalty on the play.

Leafs captain John Tavares was the first Toronto player to go after Sergachev in the ensuing scrum.

“Didn’t like it at all,” he said of the hit. “Mitchy was pretty exposed, no chance to really protect himself or see it coming.

“Hit him right in the head.”

“We want that stuff out of our game,” he added.

Marner said Sergachev apologized in the second period.

Sergachev will forfeit US$48,000 in salary. He will be eligible to return when Tampa hosts Florida on Nov. 13.