SUN Hockey Pool

NHLers pay dearly for fighting

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:26 PM ET

So much for the idea that fighting doesn't result in major injuries for NHL players.

Two scrappers have been placed on injured reserve after taking part in fights this week.

The New York Islanders announced Friday that goaltender Rick DiPietro was expected to be out up to six weeks with facial fractures suffered in a one-punch knockdown Wednesday against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Brent Johnson.

In Dallas, the Stars placed forward Adam Burish on injured reserve with an orbital bone injury -- the result of a fight Thursday with the Boston Bruins' Andrew Ference.

DiPietro's bout didn't last long -- Johnson floored him with one left hook.

DiPietro also suffered knee swelling but doesn't regret getting into the fight.

"I'm sick of losing. Our team is sick of losing," DiPietro said Friday. "You never go into a fight expecting that you're gonna get smashed in the face that hard or with these kind of consequences.

"It happens. Johnson landed a good punch and you move on."

DiPietro is 7-10-4 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .890 save percentage.

Burish, 28, was hurt during a fight-filled first period with the Bruins. He has seven goals and four assists in 52 games.

Burish will be replaced on the roster by forward Francis Wathier, who was called up from Texas of the AHL.

More bad blood

Bruins left winger Daniel Paille was suspended Friday for four games for an illegal head shot on Dallas forward Raymond Sawada.

Paille delivered a blindside hit to Sawada's shoulder and head during the second period Thursday and was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct.

Paille will forfeit $23,118, according to an NHL report.

Sawada left the game with a shoulder injury.

Monster down-sized

As expected, The Monster will attempt to restore his roar with the Toronto Marlies.

With rookie James Reimer becoming the toast of Toronto after blanking the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 Thursday, the Maple Leafs announced Friday that struggling second-year goalie Jonas Gustavsson has been lent to the team's AHL farm club "for conditioning purposes."

The decision required Gustavsson's permission. Without his approval, the Leafs would have had to risk putting the Swede on waivers in order to assign him to the Marlies.

Gustavsson has a 6-13-2 record this season, a goals-against average of 3.29 and a save percentage of .890, numbers that are significantly below what both the Leafs and Gustavsson himself expected.

Reimer is 5-3-0 with a 1.96 GAA and a .940 save percentage as a Leaf.

The Leafs expect to be without centre Darryl Boyce who suffered a severe facial gash when he missed a check Thursday against Carolina and crashed into a photographers' camera hole in the glass.

Salo getting into shape

The Vancouver Canucks on Friday assigned veteran defenceman Sami Salo to Manitoba of the AHL for conditioning.

Salo hasn't played this season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon last July. The 36-year-old was injured in his native Finland, apparently while playing a version of hockey called floorball.

Since breaking into the NHL with Ottawa in 1998, Salo has compiled 81 goals and 192 assists in 665 games.

Hiller worn down

Goaltender Jonas Hiller is suffering from fatigue and light-headedness according to the Anaheim Ducks and will miss their game Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche.

The team said the 28-year-old is day-to-day. Hiller is 25-16-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average. Anaheim recalled goaltender Timo Pielmeier from Syracuse of the AHL.

Conroy packs it in

Popular Calgary Flames forward Craig Conroy announced his retirement Friday.

Conroy has accepted a job as special assistant to acting general manager Jay Feaster. His duties will include making trips to B.C. to watch Flames prospects with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL.

Conroy was put through waivers last week and briefly considered reporting to the Heat.

"I am retired. I've come to grips with it and I'm good with it," Conroy said at a press conference.

During his 16-year NHL career, Conroy had 182 goals and 360 assists in 1,009 regular-season games.


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