DETROIT — The NHL sent a message to Bruins rookie Jeremy Lauzon that reckless play will not be tolerated.
Lauzon, 22, was suspended two games on Sunday by the league’s Department of Player Safety. In addition to that afternoon’s game against the Red Wings, the back liner will sit for Wednesday’s match with the Canadiens.
He could be available to play in Saturday’s re-up with the Red Wings at TD Garden.
The Quebec-raised defenseman, playing in his 23rd career game on Saturday, received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of the Coyotes’ Derek Stepan with 20 seconds left in the first period.
Lauzon, jumping out of the penalty box and into a scoring chance, followed his rebound shot to the corner and finished his check on Stepan, who crumpled. Lauzon appeared to swing his arms and catch Stepan with a high forearm. Coach Bruce Cassidy said he disagreed with the call.
Playing with five defensemen the next 40-plus minutes, the Bruins outscored Arizona, 4-2. Stepan returned with 4:20 left in the second period and logged 16:09.
“Listen, I didn’t think it was a match penalty, personally,’’ Cassidy said after Saturday’s game. “I don’t know the exact factors of, OK, hit to the head? Is it unsuspecting? Injury? That’s the only discussion I had with the official. He was adamant that the player (Stepan) was out (for the game). I was like well, OK, he got hurt but he’s in the game. He’s not out-out. There was a bit of a difference of opinion on that.’’
After the game, Lauzon appeared uncomfortable as he answered questions about the play. He maintained he was merely finishing his check, and did not intend to injure anyone.
Lauzon, who makes $775,500 a year on his entry-level contract, was fined $8.037.64. The amount is based on his average annual salary, and goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
He is the first Bruin to be fined or suspended this season for an on-ice incident. Netminder Tuukka Rask was docked one game for skipping the All-Star Game.
Last year, David Backes (three games) and Charlie McAvoy (one playoff game) were suspended for illegal checks to the head.