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James Neal Suspended 1 Game For Hits On Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier

James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been suspended one game by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.


James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been suspended one game for a pair of infractions on Sunday's Game 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He'll miss Wednesday's Game 4 and will be eligible to return for Game 5 should the Penguins stave off elimination.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced the suspension late Tuesday evening.

Brendan Shanahan mentions that the duel aspect of these hits is what makes them so egregious. He said that the league accepts Neal's assertion that he is simply bracing himself for an unexpected collision with Philadelphia's Sean Couturier, but the fact that Neal took a run at the head of Claude Giroux later on the same shift is unacceptable.

Both Giroux and Couturier were uninjured as a result of the hits, although Giroux did seem dazed immediately following and Couturier retreated to the locker room for several minutes to gather his bearings.

Neal has a history of supplemental discipline and is a repeat offender. He was suspended three years ago as a member of the Dallas Stars and according to Shanahan has been warned by the league twice this season.