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PRESS BOX: Blues' Lapierre suspended five games

The SportsXchange

St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre was suspended for five games without pay for his hit on San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle during Tuesday night's game in St. Louis, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

Lapierre already sat out one game while awaiting an in-person hearing in New York with the league. He will lose $28,205.15 of his salary as a result of the suspension.

The hit, which took Boyle off the ice on a stretcher and to a St. Louis hospital, occurred at 5:22 of the first period. Lapierre was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind. And it wasn't Lapierre's only infraction. He was given a game misconduct and a fighting major for a

separate altercation.

---Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer and forward James van Riemsdyk could be back in the lineup on Saturday for a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Reimer went down 32 seconds into Thursday night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes when teammate Josh Leivo collided with him while backchecking. Reimer lay on the ice for several minutes before he left with assistance. He didn't return to the game.

Reimer and van Riemsdyk both practiced Friday. Van Riemsdyk has missed the past two games because of back spasms.

NBA

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will sit out for a week to rest and rehab his injured groin.

The all-star saw his first game action of the preseason on Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons. Coach Tom Thibodeau as the All-Star center continues to rehab a strained groin.

"We're going to shut Jo down," coach Tom Thibodeau said Friday. "He's got a little soreness, so we want to make sure we get that taken care of. Probably another week or so, but we just want to make sure he's completely healthy before we move forward."

The Bulls open the regular season on Oct. 29 against the Miami Heat.

---Center Andrew Bynum is progressing in his workouts and might soon start practicing regularly with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a report.

Bynum worked with coaches on the court before a preseason game on Thursday night. The Akron Beacon Journal reported that he is down to 285 pounds from more than 300.

"He looked really good. He's getting more comfortable every time he's playing three-on-three," Cavs center Anderson Varejao said. "I'm not a doctor. He looked good, but I don't know his knees."

Bynum left the Philadelphia 76ers after one season in which he never played because of his knees. He signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Cavs in the summer.

AUTO RACING

IndyCar released its 2014 series schedule Friday, which includes 18 races over 15 weekends.

The schedule includes a new event, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on a 2.343-mile, 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10. It also includes the return of doubleheaders at Detroit, Houston and Toronto.

The season kicks off March 30 with "The World's Fastest Spring Break Party" on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg (Fla.) street circuit.

The season finale is Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
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