Sabres' Patrick Kaleta suspended 5 games by NHL

Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was suspended five games by the NHL on Monday for a boarding incident against the New York Rangers Sunday night.

Buffalo forward boarded Brad Richards

Patrick Kaleta, right, was handed a five-game suspension for this boarding incident on Rangers forward Brad Richards on Sunday in New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Patrick Kaleta won't be in the Buffalo Sabres' lineup for the next couple of weeks.

The forward was suspended five games by the NHL on Monday for a boarding incident against the New York Rangers Sunday night, the NHL's department of player safety announced on the league's official website.

The infraction occurred at 3:28 of the third period of Buffalo's 3-2 shootout loss when Kaleta nailed Rangers forward Brad Richards from behind, slamming him into the boards. Kaleta was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct on the play.

Richards was going for a loose puck in the Sabres' zone when Kaleta shoved him as he was facing the boards. Richards, a 32-year-old native of Murray Harbour, P.E.I. was shaken up but returned to the game.

"In spite of the fact that Kaleta does not shove Richards with great force, he does so at an extremely dangerous distance from the boards," NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan said in a video explanation. "This is a violation of the boarding rule."

Shanahan went on to affirm that the Sabres winger found the Rangers centre in a vulnerable position.

"Kaleta is in full control of this play," he said, "And has ample opportunity to make a better decision."

Shanahan also noted the 26-year-old native of Angola, N.Y. has been suspended twice before, including a four-game ban in 2011, and is considered a repeat offender.

Based on his annual average salary, Kaleta will forfeit $76,219.25 US, with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

The five-foot-11, 198-pound winger will be forced to sit out upcoming games against the Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Rangers and Ottawa Senators. He's eligible to return against the Washington Capitals on March 17.

He has 46 penalty minutes in 18 games this season for Buffalo.