TORONTO (AP) - Daniel Paille of the Boston Bruins was suspended for four games Friday for an illegal check to the head of Raymond Sawada of the Dallas Stars. He is fifth player suspended this season under a new rule aimed at cracking down on dangerous hits.
Paille was ejected in the second period of Boston's 6-3 win Thursday when he was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct. Sawada had lost control of the puck, and as the forward leaned down to gain control Paille connected with a blindside hit to Sawada's shoulder and head.
Paille is the first player to be banned for four games under Rule 48 this season. Toronto's Mike Brown and Phoenix's Shane Doan were docked three games and the Islanders' Matt Martin and San Jose's Joe Thornton missed two.
Paille will lose $23,118 in salary and miss the Bruins' games with San Jose and Montreal and home and away against Detroit. The forward will be eligible to return Feb. 15 against Toronto.
The NHL's discipline review was conducted by senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy because league disciplinarian Colin Campbell's son Gregory plays for the Bruins.
Paille, a former first-round draft pick, has six points and 26 penalty minutes in 25 games this season.