The NHL has suspended Blues forward Maxim Lapierre for five games for his check from behind on Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle in Tuesday night’s game at Scottrade Center.
The incident occurred at 5:22 of the first period of the Sharks’ 6-2 win. Boyle went to play the puck in the corner before Lapierre made contact, driving Boyle’s jaw into the boards. The 37-year-old was knocked out cold for several minutes, before finally regaining consciousness as he was wheeled off of the ice on a stretcher. Lapierre was given a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct.
Lapierre was previously suspended for four games in 2010 when he hit the Sharks’ Scott Nichol. The league considered that when handing down this latest suspension, but also took into account that Boyle seemed to be losing his balance just before the illegal hit.
Boyle spent Tuesday night in a St. Louis hospital, and returned to the Bay Area on Wednesday. There is no timeframe for him to return, although on Thursday, Boyle’s agent told CSNCalifornia.com that the defenseman was not suffering from any headaches and “feels great.”
Lapierre, who has already served one game of the suspension, will forfeit more than $28,000 in salary.
The Sharks host Calgary on Saturday night at SAP Center, and begin a five-game road trip on Monday in Detroit. The Blues visit San Jose on Nov. 29.