Stanley Cup Playoffs: Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri suspended for remainder of first round after cross-checking Jake DeBrusk

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Nazem Kadri for the remainder of their first round series against the Boston Bruins.

Following an in-person hearing on Monday, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced the first-round ban (three games minimum, five games max) for the veteran Leafs center as a result of a cross-check he delivered during Saturday's Game 2 in Boston. Late in the third period with his team down 3-1, Kadri sought out Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk and cross-checked him in the face away from the play. 

In a video explaining the suspension, the league's DoPS called Kadri's play a flagrant and retaliatory violation. The league also cited Kadri's history as a repeat offender.

Kadri and DeBrusk had gone at it throughout the first two games of the series, frequently getting tangled up in physical play and altercations after the whistle. The animosity jumped to another level during Game 2 when DeBrusk delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Kadri in open ice. That play, which was not penalized, left Kadri looking injured as he writhed on the ice in pain, though he was able to return to the game shortly after.

The non-call on the knee-to-knee hit was part of a frustrating officiating display in Game 2, and referees did a poor job of keeping the game under control as tensions escalated down the stretch. Eventually, frustrations came to a head when Kadri hunted down DeBrusk after the Bruins' winger checked Patrick Marleau into the stanchion area of the boards near the benches. 

This is now the second consecutive year that Kadri has been suspended for multiple games during a first-round series against Boston. The 28-year-old was given a three-game ban last April after boarding Boston's Tommy Wingels late in a frustrating Game 1 loss for the Leafs. 

This will be Kadri's fifth career suspension of three-plus games, counting both the regular season and playoffs.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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