Andrew Ference isn't in the Boston Bruins lineup on Sunday afternoon, and that's thanks to a hit in overtime against the New York Rangers on Saturday. For his hit from behind on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, Ference has been suspended three games. Brendan Shanahan of the NHL's Department of Player Safety explained the decision in a video on NHL.com.
The rules changed this past offseason to make this exact play illegal, as Shanahan notes. The push or shove from behind into the boards has been strongly emphasized as a big no-no this season, and despite Ference's assertion that he wasn't trying to injure McDonagh, Shanahan still says the onus is on the Bruin to avoid contact here.
Ference will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia, Tuesday's game in Washington and January 31 against Ottawa. He'll lose $36,486 in salary as a result and will be eligible to return to action on February 2 against Carolina.