Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi. The hit happened at 10:55 of the second period of Wednesday’s game at Madison Square Garden.
Pastrnak delivered a high, hard hit to Girardi, who was in a vulnerable position after reaching to try to bat down a puck with his glove.
While Girardi was eligible to be checked on the play, Pastrnak’s hit made the head the primary point of contact. Referees Jon McIsaac and Justin St. Pierre handed the Bruins winger a two minute minor for an illegal check to the head.
Girardi was checked by the medical staff but did return to the game.
The NHL Department of Player Safety agreed with the assessment, saying that Pastrnak’s hit made “the head the main point of contact on a hit where such contact was avoidable.”
Pastrnak unnecessarily extends up and into the head of Girardi,” the league’s video explains, “delivering a blow to the head and knocking him to the ice. This is an illegal check to the head.”
The Bruins forward has never been fined or suspended in this 104-game NHL career. He’ll forfeit $10,277.78 of salary as a result of the two-game ban.