04/01/2016 20:17 EDT | Updated 04/02/2017 01:12 EDT

Blackhawks' Keith suspended 6 games for high-sticking

NEW YORK — The NHL has suspended Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith for the final five games of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs for "dangerously and violently" high-sticking Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle.

While on his back on the ice, Keith struck Coyle in the face with his stick, an action Patrick Burke of the NHL's department of player safety called "an intentional and retaliatory act of violence by a player with a history of using his stick as a weapon" in the video announcing the suspension.

Keith, Chicago's top defenceman and the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, has been suspended twice before, including a similar incident for a deliberate stick to the face.

The Associated Press