Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader was suspended two games Sunday for charging Anaheim Ducks defenceman Toni Lydman during Game 3 the previous day.
The ban was announced on the NHL's website after Abdelkader had a hearing with the league's department of player safety.
The incident occurred at 15:11 of the second period of Anaheim's 4-0 win when Lydman was trying to play the puck in his own zone. Abdelkader nailed the 35-year-old with a high hit, which forced him out of the game.
"As the video shows, Abdelkader skates a considerable distance and elevates to violently check Lydman and making significant head contact," NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan said in a video explanation. "This is charging."
Lydman did not return and Abdelkader was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct for the infraction.
Shanahan also cited Abdelkader's violation of Rule 42 (charging), and noted the resulting injury to the Ducks blue-liner. He also brought up the fact that the winger has no prior disciplinary history at the NHL level.
"Abdelkader elevates at contact, turning what could have been a hard, full-body check into a high violent check with significant contact to the head that caused an injury," Shanahan explained.
Abdelkader, 26, will be forced to sit out Game 4 Monday in Detroit and Game 5 in Anaheim Wednesday. The Ducks are up 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series.
Abdelkader played all 48 regular-season games with the Red Wings, registering 10 goals and three assists. He also scored in Game 2 against Anaheim, a contest Detroit won 5-4 in overtime.
It was the third suspension of the first week of the playoffs. Ottawa Senators defenceman Eric Gryba got two games for a hit on Montreal's Lars Eller, while Boston Bruins blue-liner Andrew Ference was banned one contest for a hit on Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski.