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Sharks' Torres banned for second round for illegal hit

San Jose Sharks left wing Raffi Torres (13) looks up after hitting Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll (28) to the ice in the second perio
San Jose Sharks left wing Raffi Torres (13) looks up after hitting Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll (28) to the ice in the second perio

(Reuters) - San Jose Sharks winger Raffi Torres has been suspended for the rest of the Western Conference semi-finals for a hit to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll, the National Hockey League (NHL) said on Thursday.

Torres will miss a maximum six games if the best-of-seven playoff series goes the distance and as little as four games if San Jose, which trails the series 1-0, wins four straight.

The 31-year-old Canadian, who attended an in-person hearing at NHL offices on Thursday, delivered the hit late in the second period of Tuesday's series opener to the second-round series and Stoll did not return.

"Rather than hit Stoll through the core of his body Torres takes a route that makes Stoll's head the principal point of contact," NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said in a video on the league's website.

Torres has been suspended three times and fined three times during his 12-year NHL career, including a 21-game ban during last season's playoff for a hit on Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The series resumes later on Thursday in Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Edfiting by Julian Linden)

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