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Bruins’ David Backes suspended three games

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

David Backes was suspended three games for hitting Frans Nielsen in Tuesday’s game.

By Fluto Shinzawa Globe Staff 

The Bruins will be without David Backes for the next three games. 

On Wednesday, the NHL Department of Player Safety tagged Backes with a three-game suspension for his hit on Detroit’s Frans Nielsen during Tuesday’s 6-5 overtime win. Nielsen did not return after the hit.

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Backes, who was penalized for roughing, will forfeit $96,774.18 in pay. 

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According to the NHL, Backes delivered a late and high hit and made substantial contact to the Red Wing’s head.

Nielsen, who had collected a rim around the wall, had chipped the puck into the middle of the Detroit zone, where it was intercepted by David Pastrnak. Nielsen was not eligible to be checked legally on the play because he had gotten rid of the puck.  

“In addition to the lateness of the check, what elevates this hit to merit supplemental discipline is the significant head contact that occurs and the force with which it is delivered,” Damian Echevarrieta, NHL vice president of player safety and hockey operations, said on the video explaining the suspension.

“While we acknowledge Backes’s attempt to contort his body in a way that might minimize the force of the hit, what results is a hit with substantial and forceful contact to Nielsen’s head.” 

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Backes will not be eligible to play until March 13 against Carolina. Tommy Wingels is likely to replace Backes as the No. 3 center between Danton Heinen and Brian Gionta. 


Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto.