Colorado Avalanche's Nazem Kadri suspended eight games for hit to head of St. Louis Blues' Justin Faulk

Mike Brehm
USA TODAY

The NHL made the sixth career suspension of Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri the toughest, handing him eight games Friday for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk.

If Colorado is eliminated before the full suspension is served, it will carry into the next regular season.

The incident happened Wednesday in the third period of Game 2 of the West Division series, and Faulk left the game and didn't return. Blues players called for Kadri's suspension, and Faulk sat out Friday's Game 3.

The league said Kadri made some contact with Faulk's shoulder and chest, but Faulk's head took the brunt of the contact.

"Kadri elevates into this hit, delivering his shoulder pad up and into the head of Faulk," the league said in its suspension video.

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This marks the third time in four seasons that Kadri has been suspended for an infraction during the first round of the playoffs.

While playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he got three playoff games in 2018 for a hit from behind on the Boston Bruins' Tommy Wingels. The following year, he was suspended for the remainder of the first round (five games) for a Game 2 cross-check on the Bruins' Jake DeBrusk.

His earlier three suspensions totaled 11 games.

The Maple Leafs traded the two-time 30-goal scorer to the Avalanche during the 2019 offseason.

Kadri has been a key player for the Avalanche as a second-line center and physical player. But he has struggled this season, with one goal since March 23.