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The NHL on Friday announced a four-game suspension for Boston Bruins forward Daniel Paille in connection with an incident in the team's game against Dallas the previous night.

The Bruins reported the suspension on their website.

Paille caught Ray Sawada from the side with a hit to the head as the Stars player entered Boston's zone. The hit occurred midway through the second period in what had already been a fight-filled game in Boston.

Paille was given a five major for an illegal check to the head and a game misconduct.

"Paille delivered a lateral hit where the principal point of contact was his opponent’s head," Mike Murphy, the NHL's senior vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement. "Additionally, the injury suffered by the Dallas player was a factor in this decision."

Sawada had just been called up by Dallas from the AHL, playing his first game of the season and just his 11th in the NHL. He did not return for the third period.

Boston went on to win 6-3, handing Dallas its fourth loss in five games.

Paille, 26, will be eligible to return on Feb. 15 against Toronto.

Not generally known as a dirty player, Paille told the team website Friday he thought he largely made contact with Sawada's shoulder.

"Obviously, it was a fast-paced play and I just recognized that Sawada was going on a breakaway," he said. "I just went over to back check and get the puck, but he cut back to the middle.

"And If you look at the play, I'm ahead of him when I hit him. I felt that I hit his shoulder and … looking at the replay I felt that he kind of turned towards me, so I went and finished my check."

Paillewill also forfeit just over $23,000 US in salary as a result of the suspension.