Jets' Byfuglien is given 4-game suspension

Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been suspended four games for a cross-check to the neck of Rangers forward J.T. Miller, who was lying on the ice after a shot when struck from behind Tuesday.

The NHL levied the suspension after a phone hearing with Byfuglien on Thursday morning. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had called the hit "violent, deliberate … One of the most vicious cross-checks I've seen this year."

The NHL deemed Miller "defenseless" on the play. Miller, whose nose was cut from his head striking the ice, went to the bench to be checked out, but returned to the game. A day later, he said his neck was still sore and stiff.

The Jets have five games remaining and are on the wild-card bubble in the Western Conference.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, Byfuglien will forfeit $111,827.96. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.


•BLUES ARE IN: Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist and Jake Allen got light work in net for St. Louis, which ended a three-game home losing streak and locked up a playoff spot with a 4-1 victory over Calgary.

•BLACKHAWKS CLINCH: Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, and Chicago clinched a playoff spot by topping Vancouver, 3-1. Corey Crawford made 34 saves in Chicago's third straight win. The Blackhawks (47-24-6) remained one point behind St. Louis for second in the Central Division

•ISLANDERS STUNG: Ryan Johansen scored late in regulation to tie it and then added the clinching goal in the shootout Thursday night to lead the Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the Islanders, extending their streak to eight straight wins.

•LUONGO GETS 400th: Roberto Luongo earned his 400th career win, and Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist to tie Ron Francis for fourth place on the NHL's career points list to lift Florida over Carolina 6-1. Luongo became the 11th NHL goalie to record 400 wins. With his two points, Jagr has 1,798.

•UNLIKELY HERO: Zach Trotman scored his first career NHL goal with 2:08 remaining to lift Boston to a 3-2 victory Detroit.