Jan 3 (The Sports Xchange) - The NHL suspended Columbus Blue Jackets forward Derek MacKenzie for three games for boarding Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Thursday, the league announced Friday.
MacKenzie hit Ekman-Larsson from behind, causing Ekman-Larsson to hit his head on the boards and resulting in a possible concussion.
The incident occurred at 8:46 of the first period, and no penalty was assessed for the hit.
- - -
The 2014 NHL Winter Classic not only set an attendance record but established a record for regular-season North American television viewership as well, the NHL announced.
The game, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout, was played at the University of Michigan before a crowd 105,491 fans, the largest crowd ever to see a hockey game.
The combined average television viewership for the game on NBC in the U.S., and CBC and RDS in Canada was 8.234 million viewers in North America. The previous regular-season record was 6.6 million average viewers for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.
- - -
The Buffalo Sabres claimed enforcer Zenon Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild, the Canadian Press reported.
Konopka, a 33-year-old forward, is with his seventh NHL team. He has played with the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Wild.
- - -
The NHL fined Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul $10,000, the maximum permitted under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves in Wednesday's game, the league announced.
The incident occurred at 11:04 of the first period in the NHL Winter Classic. Lupul was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking at the time. Eaves did not return to the game.
- - -
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of December.
(Editing by Gene Cherry)