Leafs' Kadri suspended for rest of first round

Nazem Kadri crossed the line in the playoffs against the Boston Bruins for the second year in a row, and the NHL came down hard Monday on the Toronto Maple Leafs center.

Kadri was suspended for the remainder of the Leafs' first-round Eastern Conference series in response to a cross-check on the Bruins' Jake DeBrusk late in Game 2 on Saturday.

The teams played Game 3 on Monday, with the series even at one game apiece. The suspension would last up to five games if the series goes to a Game 7.

The incident in the third period Saturday resulted in a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for Kadri.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety wrote Monday of the hit, "This was not a hockey play. Instead, it's a player retaliating against his opponent, using his stick as a weapon for forceful and direct head contact."

The league acknowledged that the punishment took into account Kadri's poor disciplinary record, which includes a three-game ban for boarding then-Boston forward Tommy Wingels in a first-round playoff series last year.

Kadri has now been suspended five times in his career, including three games in 2013 (hit to the head against the Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom), four games in 2015 (hit to the head against the Edmonton Oilers' Matt Fraser) and four games in 2016 (cross-checking the Detroit Red Wings' Luke Glendening).

The hit Saturday was apparently in retaliation for a hit by DeBrusk on Toronto's Patrick Marleau. DeBrusk sat out the remainder of the game but was back in action for Game 3 on Monday.

Kadri, 28, produced 16 goals and 28 assists in 73 games during the regular season, and he had a goal and an assist in the first two playoff games against the Bruins. In his 10th NHL season, all with the Maple Leafs, he has 161 goals and 196 assists in 561 career regular-season games.

--Field Level Media