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Penguins forward Neal suspended five games for kneeing Bruins' Marchand

Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal (18) loses his edge while chasing the puck against Boston Bruins right wing Reilly Smith (18) in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The NHL has suspended Neal for five games for kneeing Boston forward Brad Marchand in the head. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elise Amendola

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Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal (18) loses his edge while chasing the puck against Boston Bruins right wing Reilly Smith (18) in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The NHL has suspended Neal for five games for kneeing Boston forward Brad Marchand in the head. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elise Amendola

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The NHL has suspended Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal for five games for kneeing Boston forward Brad Marchand in the head.

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.

The suspension will cost Neal US$128,205.15.

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