NEW YORK â€” The NHL has suspended Boston forward Brad Marchand for the Bruins’ final two games of the regular season for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Jake Dotchin.
The incident occurred in Boston’s 4-0 win over the Lightning on Tuesday. Marchand received a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play.
The suspension announced Thursday included Boston’s key matchup that night against visiting Ottawa as well as its season finale Saturday against Washington.
Boston has already clinched a playoff spot, but the loss of its leading scorer comes at an inopportune time. The Bruins are still fighting for a top-three spot in the Atlantic Division, which would allow them to avoid a first-round playoff matchup with the powerful Capitals.
Boston entered Thursday’s play in third in the Atlantic, tied with the Senators at 94 points but with one game less to play than Ottawa.
Fourth-place Toronto was one point behind Boston with a game in hand.
Marchand will end the season with career highs in goals (39), assists (46) and points (85).
Marchand is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association, and will forfeit US$109,756.10 in salary.
The Canadian Press