Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Upshall suspended two games for Tuesday hit

Phoenix Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall was given a two-game suspension by the National Hockey League on Wednesday for actions during Tuesday's 3-2 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.

At the 17-second mark of the second period, Upshall leveled Flyers defenseman Oskars Bartulis with a hard, but late check to Bartulis' upper-body. Bartulis, caught off guard by the contact, crumpled to the ice on his shoulder.

"Oskars is just standing there minding his own business. It was a late hit," Flyers GM Holmgren said after the game. "I guess I got a little bit of a problem with it, yeah. It's not really like Scottie to do that. Things happen."

He did not return to the game with what was termed as an "upper-body injury." No status was available Wednesday afternoon, with the results of an MRI for the Latvian backliner still outstanding.

Upshall was making his return to Philadelphia for the first time since a March, 2009 deal sent him to Phoenix for Dan Carcillo. He received a minor for boarding on the play.

"I couldn't really see the puck get covered, nor could I hear a whistle," Upshall said in his own defense. "I didn't intentionally go to drive him, let alone drive him into the boards. I hope he's all right. Those plays happen a lot where guys are just standing up to each other. I hope he's all right."

The 27-year-old winger will forfeit $24,193.54 in salary, and is slated to miss the Coyotes' games in Tampa Bay on Wednesday and in Columbus on Friday. He will be eligible to return on Sunday when the Blackhawks arrive in Glendale.

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