NHL suspends Flyers forward Shelley for two games for punching Alberts

PHILADELPHIA – The NHL suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley for two games Wednesday for punching Vancouver Canucks defenceman Andrew Alberts during a game earlier this week.

Shelley received a five-minute match penalty in Tuesday’s game for hitting Alberts, who was down on the ice and then forced to leave the game with 7:31 left.

Alberts was sporting a shiner and bloodshot left eye at practice Wednesday in Vancouver.

“I really didn’t know what hit me until I was on the ground,” said Alberts. “It happened real quick.”

Alberts said he had no intention of fighting Shelley.

“I don’t think we were going to make it a fight,” said Alberts. “There’s (about) seven minutes left in the game. We’re up (6-1). What’s the point?”

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The Canucks won the game 6-2.

Shelley will miss Thursday’s game at Los Angeles and Friday’s game at Anaheim. He is eligible to return Jan. 2 at Detroit.

The NHL suspended Shelley two games earlier this month for hitting Bruins defenceman Adam McQuaid from behind. The suspension is the fifth of Shelley’s NHL career.

Alberts was held out of the rest of Tuesday’s game as a precaution, but he took part in Wednesday’s practice.