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NHL suspends Sharks D Brad Stuart for 3 games for hit to head of Rangers' Rick Nash

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New York Rangers' Ryan Callahan (24) jumps over San Jose Sharks' Brad Stuart (7) during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (The Associated Press)

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart has been suspended for three games, without pay, by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.

Stuart was given a minor penalty for elbowing 2:32 into San Jose's 9-2 win on Tuesday night. The league's Department of Player Safety handed out a stiffer punishment Wednesday.

Stuart will lose $55,384.62 in salary that will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund, and will sit out at Vancouver on Thursday, a home game against Ottawa on Saturday, and at St. Louis on Tuesday. He is eligible to return at Dallas on Oct. 17.

Nash played several shifts after the hit, but was ruled out following the first period.

"It just didn't feel right," Nash said Monday. "Any time you get a head shot you're concerned. It's not a good feeling."