Maple Leafs forward Mike Brown suspended three games for hit on Jovanovski

TORONTO – Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mike Brown has been handed a three-game suspension for his hit to the head on Ed Jovanovski.

The NHL announced the ban Friday for Brown’s check on the veteran Coyotes defenceman late in the second period of Toronto’s 5-1 loss to Phoenix on Thursday night.

No penalty was called on the play or the ensuing scuffle after Jovanovski got back to his feet and skated from the Phoenix goal-line to the benches to get at Brown.

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“It’s the game of hockey and I play that style of game,” Brown said after the game. “I’d never try to hurt anyone.

“If he hadn’t reached for the puck his head wouldn’t have gone down. The refs made a good call. Obviously, they didn’t call it for a reason. It wasn’t a bad hit.”

Jovanovski didn’t return for the third because of a lower-body injury sustained on the same play.

—With files from The Associated Press.