Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was ejected for swinging his stick and striking Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle in the face on Tuesday.
Keith was given a match penalty for intent to injure and is automatically suspended pending the NHL's review of the incident, which occurred with nine minutes, 27 seconds left in the first period.
As Coyle and Keith were competing for a loose puck, Keith fell to the ice and from his back swung his stick upward, hitting Coyle and drawing blood.
It was a less-than-ideal scenario for the Blackhawks, already without fellow top defenseman Brent Seabrook and starting goaltender Corey Crawford for the game.
The Blackhawks went on to suffer a 4-1 loss to the Wild.
Keith faces what is likely to be a multi-game suspension given his discipline history.
He was previously suspended one game during the 2013 play-offs for swinging his stick and hitting Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face.
A year earlier, Keith was hit with a five-game suspension for elbowing Vancouver Canucks star Daniel Sedin in the head.