Winter Classic: GIF: Joffrey Lupul cross-checks Patrick Eaves in neck

By Brian Stubits |

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- On a day that's all about celebrating hockey, the last thing you want to see is a player going down with an injury but that's what we saw in the first period on Wednesday at the Winter Classic.

In the middle of a scoreless opening period, Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul was handed a two-minute minor for cross-checking the Red Wings' Patrick Eaves. The cross-check came in retalliation to a shot Lupul had taken seconds before in a play on the boards but Lupul went a little overboard by checking Eaves in the neck/head area.

GIF from @CJZero

Immediately Eaves went down and stayed down for a couple of minutes as the trainers came onto the snowy ice to help. From there he took the long walk back to the dressing room underneath the packed stands of the Big House.

It was announced Eaves suffered an upper-body injury and was listed as questionable to return.

While the Red Wings didn't score on the ensuing power play, they were certainly at their most dangerous on the man advantage in the first period, racking up seven of their 15 shots on goal in four minutes of power play time.

Frankly, Lupul might have been lucky he only received two minutes, typically going after a guy intentionally up high like that can result in more. It wouldn't be a surprise if Lupul, who has a suspension history, gets a call from the league on the hit that came in the NHL's marquee event.

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