Caps' Ovechkin suspended two games for rough hit

TORONTO (Reuters) - Twice MVP Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was suspended for two games without pay for a rough hit in Monday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the NHL announced on Tuesday.

Ovechkin extended his knee while delivering a hit to Hurricanes' defenseman Tim Gleason and was assessed a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct on the play.

"I regret that this has happened. I'm glad that Tim wasn't injured because I never ever want to see anyone get hurt," Ovechkin said in a statement.

The Russian will forfeit nearly $99,000 in salary with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Earlier, the Capitals said they might have to manage without Ovechkin due to a sore knee from the incident and were listing the Russian's availability as day-to-day.

Ovechkin leads the Southeast Division-leading Capitals with 18 goals and 30 points.

The forward will miss Washington's games against Florida on Thursday and at Philadelphia Saturday. Ovechkin will be eligible to return next Monday at Tampa Bay.

"I am disappointed to miss these games and I can't wait to get back on the ice next week to help my team," said Ovechkin.

(Writing by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Justin Palmer)