David Backes suspended three games for illegal check to the head

David Backes comes across the middle and lays his shoulder into Blake Coleman's face. Backes gets two minutes for an illegal check to the head.

Boston Bruins centre David Backes has been suspended three games for an illegal check to the head on New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman, the NHL announced Friday.

Backes had a hearing with the league’s department of safety earlier in the day to assess a late hit that got him a minor penalty with two minutes left in Boston’s 5-2 home loss to New Jersey on Thursday.

With the ruling, the centreman will miss the 2019 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks on New Year’s day in Chicago, as this represents the second of his three-game suspension.

Backes had already been handed a three-game suspension in March for interference on Detroit Red Wings’ Frans Nielsen.

Coleman stayed in the game after the hit and scored twice, including and empty-netter after the hit, in the Devils’ win.

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