Stanley Cup Final: Blues' Ivan Barbashev suspended for Game 6 after check to the head of Bruins' Marcus Johansson

St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev was not penalized for a high check on Boston Bruins forward Marcus Johansson in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, but he'll miss Game 6 of the series because of the hit.

A pivotal piece of the Blues' fourth line with three goals in the Final, Barbashev went high on Johansson in the first period of Thursday night's 2-1 St. Louis win at TD Garden. And while he was not disciplined for the apparently illegal check during the game, an NHL Department of Player Safety review deemed the blow a "high, forceful hit that makes Johansson's head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable," with the league issuing a one-game suspension as a result.

Blues coach Craig Berube alluded to a potential suspension for Barbashev following the game, according to ESPN, saying "it's heavy hockey out there both ways, and they're going to look at some stuff once in a while." But St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong has since called the one-game ban "excessive," while also telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he respects the officials' integrity.

Officiating has been a hot topic during the Final even outside of Barbashev's hit. Many Boston fans were irate over an uncalled tripping penalty during the Blues' game-winning goal in Game 5, even littering the Bruins' home ice in protest. And the Blues have now received two suspensions during the series, the first in a Final since 2011, after Oskar Sundqvist's Game 3 ban for boarding the Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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