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Detroit Red Wings winger David Perron has been suspended six games without pay for cross-checking Ottawa Senators defenseman Artem Zub in the head during Saturday's game. It marks the first suspension of Perron's career, which spans 1,081 games.

Perron's cross-check on Zub was delivered in retaliation after Red Wings star Dylan Larkin was laying on the ice motionless. Larkin was hit on the back of the head by Senators forward Mathieu Joseph. When Larkin was down, Perron made his way toward Zub and cross-checked the Senators defenseman.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety stated that "the brunt of the impact of this blow is clearly absorbed by Zub's head, due to the actions and choices made by Perron." They also said that Perron's check required "significant supplemental discipline."

Perron received a match penalty for the hit at the 13:50 mark of the opening period of Saturday's contest. Meanwhile, Joseph and Senators forward Parker Kelly each were awarded roughing penalties for hitting Larkin.

On Monday, Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde announced that Larkin has been placed on injured reserve and there's "no timetable" for his return to the ice.

"Unfortunate to lose a player of that caliber for an extended period of time," Lalonde said.

The NHL ruled that Perron's check wasn't "a hockey play," but was an "intentional strike with the stick made with the purpose of exacting retribution on an opponent."

Following Monday's game against the Dallas Stars, Lalonde stuck up for Perron and pointed out that Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews delivered a similar check against the Buffalo Sabres two years ago. It marked Matthews' first career suspension, but Perron received a much stiffer penalty.

"Pretty similar for four games' difference in those two [suspensions]," Lalonde said. "David's had a clean sheet for 1,100 games. ... I know he was pretty disappointed, but you've got to trust the process and we'll see where it goes."

Perron can appeal the suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman since it's six or more games.