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James Neal suspended five games for kneeing Brad Marchand

Posted by John Carney  December 9, 2013 03:19 PM

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Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal was suspended five games by the National Hockey League for kneeing Bruins forward Brad Marchand during Saturday night’s game at TD Garden.

The announcement was made by the league’s Department of Player Safety Monday.

The incident occurred in the first period, after Marchand had fallen to the ice. As Neal skated by him, his knee hit Marchand in the head, stunning him. Neal received a minor penalty for kneeing.

Following the play, there was pushing and shoving between members of the Penguins and Bruins, and Boston’s Shawn Thornton knocked Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik to the ice and began punching him. Orpik had to be taken off on a stretcher, and Thornton received a match penalty.

Thornton is expected to face a disciplinary hearing this week, and is likely due for a suspension himself. Thornton had taken exception to a hit Orpik put on Loui Eriksson earlier in the game that left the Bruins winger concussed.

Neal will forfeit $128,205.15 in pay.

The Bruins wound up winning Saturday’s game, 3-2.

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