Dec 7, 2013, 7:48 PM EST
Brooks Orpik was stretchered off the ice in the first period of Saturday’s game between his Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins.
Orpik was grabbed by Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton, taken down to the ice and punched in the head, including when the Penguins’ defenseman was on the ice. The incident occurred during a scrum, after Penguins’ forward James Neal had been called for kneeing.
On the first shift of the game, Orpik delivered a hard open-ice hit on Bruins’ forward Loui Eriksson, who left the game and will not be returning. Thornton challenged Orpik to a fight immediately after his hit on Eriksson, and Orpik continued with his shift.
Thornton received a match penalty, and could be facing further disciplinary action from the National Hockey League.
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