Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has been suspended for six games for a high stick to the face of Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced its decision on Wednesday, citing the "dangerous" and "retaliatory" nature of the incident for the length of the ban.
Nyquist was assessed a four-minute double minor penalty, but was not ejected.
Spurgeon exited briefly to receive four stitches and returned to play the rest of the game.
The 27-year-old Swede, with no prior suspensions, insisted afterwards the play was unintentional.
"[It was] completely accidental. Obviously didn't mean to do that," Nyquist told reporters. "My stick gets caught. I'm trying to get body position on him and I'm happy he was out there again."
Nyquist's suspension is the NHL's longest since Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was also given a six-game ban for high sticking at the end of last season.
Nyquist will forfeit $26,388.89 in salary per game missed.
He is the Red Wings' third-leading scorer with 28 points in 55 games.