NHL suspends Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger for one game

Pronger will miss Thursday night’s Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference final. In a release, the NHL said Pronger was suspended for “a blow to the head.” Pronger and Rob Niedermayer hammered Holmstrom into the boards from behind at 11:40 of the second period of Tuesday’s night’s game. The Wings won the game 5-0 and lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Holmstrom, who had two goals and an assist in the victory, had to be helped off the ice. He needed 13 stitches to repair two cuts on his forehead but returned for the third period.

Pronger was not penalized while Niedermayer was given a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct.

Replays appeared to show that Pronger got his elbows up and hit Holmstrom in the head.

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Ducks coach Randy Carlyle says the team will adjust without Pronger, who has been nominated for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman.

“He’s a big part of our hockey club,” said Carlyle. “But we’ve had stretches through the season where he wasn’t on our blue-line.

“We’ll move other people in, making some adjustments without personnel. Other people will have to share those minutes.”

Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer was frustrated by the league’s action.

“The call last night was five minutes to Rob Niedermayer,” he said. “Today they’re talking to Chris. Does that make sense to anybody?”