Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated)

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik is “alert and conscious” and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, the NHL club announced a short time ago.

Orpik had to be stretchered off the ice after he was taken down to the ice and punched multiple times in the head by Shawn Thornton in the first period of Saturday’s game between the Penguins and the Boston Bruins.

The incident occurred during a scrum at the 11:06 mark of the first period. Thornton was assessed a match penalty.

Earlier in the game, Thornton had challenged Orpik to fight after the Penguins’ defenseman delivered an open-ice hit on Loui Eriksson on the first shift.

The scrum in which the Thornton-Orpik incident occurred began after James Neal was called for a dangerous knee on Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand.

Updated: Orpik will fly home with the Penguins, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.