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Canucks' Gudbranson Suspended One Game For Hit On Frank Vatrano

BOSTON (CBS) -- Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson has been suspended one game for boarding winger Frank Vatrano early in the first period during the Bruins' 6-3 win on Thursday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

Vatrano was carrying the puck behind the net while facing the boards when Gudbranson hit him from behind, slamming the winger's face into the glass. The defenseman claimed that Vatrano "moved a little bit" before the hit, but the league determined that he made "no sudden movements just prior to contact" that would have contributed to a legal hit becoming illegal, thus putting the onus entirely on Gudbranson.

You can watch the league's full explanation for the suspension in the video below:

Vatrano showed up at practice with stitches on his nose and swelling in his cheeks and forehead as a result of the hit, according to CBS Boston Sports' Matt Kalman on Twitter. Fortunately, it appears that he has avoided a head injury.

Erik Gudbranson hits Frank Vatrano - Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins
Erik Gudbranson of the Vancouver Canucks checks Frank Vatrano into the boards during the first period at TD Garden on Oct. 19, 2017. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In other Bruins injury news, Adam McQuaid is expected to miss around eight weeks with a broken fibula suffered on Thursday. His absence could open up a spot for veteran blue liner Paul Postma. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Kevan Miller are all expected to play on Saturday against the Sabres after they all took maintenance days on Friday.


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