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Wild defenseman suspended, fined for check to the head

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A Minnesota Wild defenseman was suspended without pay for two games Wednesday for illegally checking a New York Islanders player in the head.

Marco Scandella also faces a $11,021.50 fine for the Tuesday incident, the National Hockey League announced. Scandella checked Islanders forward Brock Nelson late in the game, which the Wild won 5-4.

Scandella was fined about $2,755 for the same offense in a Nov. 29 game against the St. Louis Blues. The NHL said those are the only two fines in Scandella's 189-game career

Also in Tuesday night's game, Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard was hurt when he tried to turn away from an opponent who charged toward him, driving Ballard face-forward into the boards. His head bounced hard on the ice after he fell.

Ballard has been released from the hospital, diagnosed with multiple facial fractures and a concussion. He's expected to be out indefinitely.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.