Headshot on Matt Stajan earns Keith Aulie two-game ban

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Keith Aulie has been suspended for two games following an illegal check to the head of Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan. Stajan returned to the game, but played limited ice time following the hit.

The Battle of Alberta wouldn’t really be without the Battle of Alberta without some animosity between the two teams, but the Department of Player Safety has come down on Keith Aulie for his hit during the New Year’s Eve game.

Edmonton Oilers blueliner Aulie, who has only played in 13 games this season and has failed to register a point, will sit for two games for this brutal check to the head of Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan.

The hit came with less than a minute to go in the first period, and Aulie was given a five minute major for a check to the head. On top of the major infraction, Aulie was also handed down a game misconduct. So, while the two-game suspension may seem a little less than expected, consider that the game misconduct makes this nearly a three-game ban. Stajan returned to the game in the second period, but saw limited ice time.

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Calgary would come up empty on the ensuing power play, but battled back from a 2-0 deficit late in the second period to win the last game of 2014 by a score of 4-3 thanks to a Josh Jooris overtime tally.

Aulie, a Flames draft pick in 2007, will sit due to suspension for the first time in his NHL career.