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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele won’t appeal his four-game suspension for a crushing blow to the head and shoulder of Montreal’s Jake Evans.

Scheifele called the NHL’s decision “excessive” but said Friday he doesn’t want to be a distraction for his team. He added that he did not intend to injure Evans and was only trying to stop him from scoring.

Scheifele said he has reached out to some Canadiens players to check on Evans and is praying for his quick recovery.

The hit came in the final minute of the Canadiens’ 5-3 win in Game 1 of their second-round series Wednesday night. Evans wrapped a shot into the empty Winnipeg net as a charging Scheifele leveled Evans. Evans’ head struck the ice and he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. The forward was not hospitalized but Montreal interim coach Dominique Ducharme has said he has a concussion.

Scheifele drew a charging major and game misconduct.

Game 2 is Friday night in Winnipeg.


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