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Brad Marchard Suspended Two Games By NHL

Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand has been suspended two games by the NHL following his hit on Columbus Blue Jackets left winger R.J. Umberger in Boston's 3-2 shootout win on Tuesday. Marchand hit Umberger in the head with an elbow, but Umberger was uninjured.

Marchand was not penalized at the time of the hit, 11:40 of the second period, and play was never stopped. The ruling by the NHL was made based on Rule 48, which allows the league to discipline players for blindside hits.

"I understand where the league's coming from," Marchand said. "They really want to crack down on head hits right now. Obviously I'm disappointed to have to miss a couple games. It's always frustrating when you have to watch your team play. But I understand why. The biggest thing is to regroup and make sure I'm ready for when I can get back in action." (via Boston.com)

In addition to the two-game suspension, Marchand will forego $6,330.64 in salary. Marchand has 19 goals and 16 assists, totaling 35 points, in 66 games this season. He has a plus/minus ratio of plus-22 and has collected 47 penalty minutes.

The suspension means that Marchand will miss Boston's game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night and its game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Marchand is eligible to return on Tuesday, March 22nd when the Bruins host the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.