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Bruins' Andrew Ference suspended 1 game for illegal check to head

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

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The NHL announced on Thursday evening that Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has been suspended one game for an illegal check to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski on Wednesday night.

He will miss Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series on Saturday.

The incident occurred during the first period of the Bruins' 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. Ference was not penalized for the hit during the game.

In the league-released video explaining the suspension (shown above), Brendan Shanahan pointed out that Ference "lunged" at Grabovski, extending his left arm and shoulder and making the head the principle point of contact. Shanahan said that some body contact is permissible in that situation, but that Ference can not make the decision to make the head the point of contact.

In the eyes of the league, the onus is on Ference to avoid this forceful contact with the head or "at the very least hit Grabovski straight through the body."

Ference's only other suspension in the NHL came in January 2012 when he was suspended for boarding.

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