The NHL has suspended Boston Bruins' defenseman Andrew Ference for one game, Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan said Thursday.
Ference was suspended for an illegal check to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski during Game 1 of the teams' first-round, best-of-seven series on Wednesday. The Bruins won the game, 4-1.
"Ference makes the decision to check Grabovski after playing the puck," Shanahan said in a video explaining his decision. "However, in doing so, he lunges toward Grabovski, extending his left arm and shoulder, picking Grabovski's head and making it the principal point of contact."
No penalty was called on the play, but Shanahan said that the replay made it clear that Ference was targeting Grabovski's head. Grabovski was not injured on the play.
The hit in question came in the first period of the Bruins' win, when Ference came up high with his elbow as he skated past Grabovski, landing a shot to Grabovski's head.
Game 2 is in Boston on Saturday.
Here is the video of Shanahan explaining the decision: