Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik left Saturday's 3-2 loss against the Bruins on a stretcher.
During a scrum which was created by a kneeing call to Pittsburgh's James Neal with 8:54 remaining in the first period, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton grabbed Orpik from behind and punched him twice, the second time as the veteran blueliner was on the ice.
Medical personnel were immediately summoned, and the 33-year-old was completely immobilized before being loaded onto a stretcher and taken away for evaluation.
Orpik was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was deemed both alert and conscious. Following the game, Pens head coach Dan Bylsma said Orpik was released and would travel home with his teammates.
Earlier in the contest, Orpik levelled Bruins forward Loui Eriksson with a hard but clean check. Eriksson was later revealed to have suffered a concussion as a result of the contact.
The Boston College product has one goal and six assists in 30 games this season, his 11th NHL campaign.
Thornton was given a match penalty for his effort, and will not travel with the Bruins as he faces a disciplinary hearing from the league shortly.