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Rangers' Carcillo banned 10 games for abusing official

(Reuters) - New York Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo has been suspended 10 games for physically abusing an official during Thursday's Game Three of the Eastern Conference finals, likely ruling him out of the rest of the playoffs.

Carcillo's automatic ban by the National Hockey League, imposed on Friday, resulted after he was assessed a game misconduct penalty under Rule 40.3, "Physical Abuse of Officials," the league said in a statement.

The 29-year-old left wing physically applied force to linesman Scott Driscoll while being escorted to the penalty box late in the first period of New York's 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

"Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner ... which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than 10 games," the NHL said.

Carcillo, who has played for five different teams in the league, has scored two goals for the Rangers in eight playoff games this year.

The Rangers lead the Canadiens 2-1 in their best-of-seven series with Game Four set for Sunday in New York.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)