Habs' Lapierre suspended four games for hit on Nichol Staff

3/5/2010 6:48:03 PM

Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre has been suspended for four games for a late hit on San Jose forward Scott Nichol during Thursday night's Sharks victory.

Early in the third period, Lapierre knocked Nichols into the end boards with a late, careless hit.  A scuffle between the two teams ensued as Nichol lay on the ice for some time before getting up on his own. He left the game favoring his shoulder and did not return. 

No penalty was assessed on the play.  

After the game, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told the Mercury News he thought the hit was "a missed call and a real dangerous play."

Sharks defenceman Dan Boyle had a similar view.

"There was, as far as I'm concerned, a really dirty hit on our guy." said Boyle. "Pushing a guy from behind into the boards, I have not seen the reply yet, but you can paralize a guy and there is no place for that in hockey."

It is still unknown how serious an injury Nichol suffered on the play.

Lapierre will be eligible to return March 13 against the Boston Bruins.