Vancouver Canucks right wing Byron Bitz was suspended two games for a hard hit Wednesday night on Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford, the league announced on Thursday.
The incident occurred late in the second period of a 4-2 victory by the Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal.
Clifford already has been ruled out for Game 2 on Friday, coach Darryl Sutter said after practice on Thursday. He will be replaced in the lineup by either Kevin Westgarth, who has been a healthy scratch the past 25 games, or Andrei Loktionov, who was called up from the AHL earlier this week after Brad Richardson underwent an emergency appendectomy. Loktionov has not played in an NHL game since Feb. 22.
Bitz was given a five-minute major boarding penalty and a game misconduct for the play. Clifford was battling for the puck in the right-wing corner in Vancouver’s end when Bitz skated into him, slamming the right side of Clifford’s head into the glass.
Video: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Byron Bitz has been suspended two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for boarding Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford.