Bruins’ Backes suspended three games for illegal check to head

NHL
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The Boston Bruins are dealing with more injuries this weekend, but that will not be the only thing leaving them shorthanded.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Friday evening that forward David Backes has been suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman on Thursday night.

Here is the NHL’s explanation, as well as the play. It happened late in the third period of the Bruins’ 5-2 loss.

Because Backes has been suspended before and is a repeat offender, his suspension was harsher than it would have been for a player with no prior history and will also result in him losing more than $219,000 in salary.

He will miss Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium against the Chicago Blackhawks, as well as the Bruins’ Jan. 3 game against the Calgary Flames.

He will be eligible to return to the lineup on Jan. 5 when the Bruins host the Sabres.

The Bruins are already expected to be without Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand on Saturday night due to injuries.

In 33 games this season Backes has three goals and seven assists for the Bruins.

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.