11/03/2014 12:09 EST | Updated 01/03/2015 05:59 EST

Andrew Ference suspended 3 games for hit on Zack Kassian

The NHL on Monday suspended Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference for three games for an illegal check to the head of the Vancouver Canucks' Zack Kassian.

The play occurred in the second period of Vancouver's 3-2 win on Saturday night in Edmonton.

Kassian was carrying the puck into the Oilers' zone when Ference hit him high, knocking the Canucks forward's helmet off and sending him sprawling to the ice.

Kassian stayed in the game and did not appear to be injured — a factor cited by the league in its video explaining the decision.

This is the third suspension in the career of Ference, who is in his 15th NHL season.