The NHL handed down a two-game suspension for Vancouver forward Byron Bitz on Thursday for an incident in the series opener against Los Angeles.

Bitz incurred a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct after hitting Kings forward Kyle Clifford high during the second period of Vancouver's 4-2 loss on Wednesday.

Former Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell scored on the ensuing power play to put the visitors ahead 2-1, a shot that got past screened Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.

Bitz will be eligible to play again for Game 4 on April 18 in Los Angeles.

The 27-year-old journeyman was a late season addition to the lineup for the Canucks, scoring a goal and adding three assists in 10 games, with 14 penalty minutes.

The next game of the series is at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Friday (CBC,, 7 p.m. PT)