The incident occurred in the first period of Boston's 3-2 home win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. After Marchand was tripped after trying to make a pass out of Boston's zone, Neal hits Marchand's head with his knee as he skates by.
Neal received a minor penalty for kneeing on the play.
NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan said in explaining the suspension that Neal had a clear view of Marchand on the ice and did not attempt to get out of his way.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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