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NHL suspends Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell for two games

TORONTO – The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell for two games after his hit on Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Alberts.

Hartnell was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct after the incident in the second period of Monday night’s game. Alberts lay on the ice for minutes before being eventually lifted to his feet and escorted to the locker-room for evaluation. He did not return.

“It appears that Mr. Hartnell was attempting to let up on delivering a check to an opponent that was in a vulnerable position,” NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said in a statement on Tuesday. “However, at the point of contact, he did deliver a blow to the head of Mr. Alberts that resulted in an injury.”

Hartnell, who will forfeit almost US$45,000 in salary, will be eligible to return to the lineup Dec. 5 at Minnesota.

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It was the first time the Bruins and Flyers had met since Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron was diagnosed with a broken nose and a concussion after being hammered to the boards face-first by Flyers defenceman Randy Jones.

Bergeron lost consciousness and was taken from the ice on a stretcher. Jones was suspended for two games for the hit.

Philadelphia has been at the centre of two other controversies this season regarding thuggish behaviour on the ice.

Flyers forward Steve Downie was suspended 20 games after the 20-year-old prospect gave Ottawa Senators centre Dean McAmmond a concussion with a vicious hit in a pre-season game in September. The Ottawa veteran had to be taken from the Scotiabank Place ice on a stretcher.

A little over two weeks later, Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice earned a 25-game suspension after cross-checking Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in the head.