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Flyers’ Tony DeAngelo is Suspended for Groin Spear



Tony DeAngelo (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Photo: AP.

The NHL punished Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo on Wednesday afternoon, suspending him for two games because he speared Corey Perry late in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-2 win Tuesday.

DeAngelo, 27, will miss road games against Carolina (his former team) and Pittsburgh.

The league said “the premeditated nature of the foul against an unsuspecting opponent, the area of the body where the spear was delivered, and the force of the blow” caused the suspension.

DeAngelo will forfeit about $54,000, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Acquired from Carolina in the offseason for second-, third- and fourth-round draft picks, DeAngelo has come as advertised: Strong on offense, weak on defense.

The South Jersey native leads Flyers defensemen with 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists); he is last on the team with a minus-28 rating.

With 2:40 left in Tuesday’s game in Tampa, DeAngelo speared Perry in the groin. The veteran forward fell to the ice in pain. He later returned to the game.

Several Tampa players went after DeAngelo and got him down on the ice.

“I took 30 punches on the ground, and when I got up, they don’t let me do what I’ve got to do,” DeAngelo said.

Presumably, he wanted to go after Perry.

DeAngelo, who is in the first year of a two-year deal that has an annual $5 million cap hit, said Perry tried to slash his stick out of his hand prior to the spearing incident.

‘I don’t say no’

“He talks all game,” DeAngelo said after the loss. “I asked him to fight. He doesn’t want to fight. He’ll tell you he’s asked me to fight for years. I don’t say no.”

DeAngelo, who is on his fourth team in seven years, claimed he was “trying to give him a little shot,” and said he wasn’t targeting any particular area on Perry’s body.

Earlier in his career, DeAngelo was kicked off the New York Rangers for getting into an altercation with a teammate. He was twice suspended from the Ontario Hockey League for violating the league’s policy on homophobia, racist, and sexist language.

The Flyers play in Carolina on Thursday, and Justin Braun figures to take DeAngelo’s spot on the third pairing. The Flyers have used seven defensemen in their last three games, with Braun playing sparingly.

Philly (24-29-11) has lost nine of its last 11 games. Carolina (42-12-8), the Metropolitan Division leader, has won eight of its last 10 games, and 15 of its last 18.

Former Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has two goals and four points in three games with Carolina, which acquired him from Arizona for a third-round pick at the trade deadline. For the season, Gostisbehere, 29, has 35 points (12-23) and a minus-7 rating with two teams.

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