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Giroux suspended one game for Zubrus head shot

Claude Giroux, Andy Greene

Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux checks New Jersey Devils’ Andy Greene into the boards during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)


Anyone who’s accused Brendan Shanahan of giving star players preferential treatment might have to rethink their opinion of the NHL’s disciplinarian after Flyers forward Claude Giroux was suspended one game for hitting New Jersey’s Dainius Zubrus in the head on Sunday.

It’s a potentially devastating ruling for Philadelphia, down 3-1 in its series with the Devils and now without its best player for Tuesday’s Game 5.

Here’s Shanahan explaining his ruling on what he calls a “late, reckless hit to the head.”

Key points:

---- Illegal check to the head, contravening Rule 48 that states, “A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted.”

---- Zubrus didn’t put himself in a vulnerable position.

---- Zubrus wasn’t injured.

---- Giroux had never been suspended or fined.

According to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, Giroux “respects the decision and wants to move on.”