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Chris Stewart(notes) has long been known for playing a physical, but clean game during his time with the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. Tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, Stewart likely earned his first suspension after this boarding of Niklas Kronwall(notes) in the first period:

Hard not to cringe seeing the speed and hearing the sound of Kronwall going into the boards.

Stewart was assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind and given a 10-minute game misconduct.

Tough month so far for Kronwall after he took a shoulder to the head from Mikko Koivu(notes) of the Minnesota Wild two weeks ago. Kronwall left the game, but did return to the ice at the start of the second period and played 21:59 during Detroit's 2-1 loss.

After the game, Kronwall told reporters, "I haven't seen the replay, so I can't really say too much, but it felt like he was coming from an angle from behind."

Blues captain told Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch the penalty might be enough of a punishment for Stewart:

"Kronwall comes back," Backes said. "(Stewart) has already been penalized for five (minutes) and missing the game ... a five-minute power play against Detroit can be a death sentence. I don't know. You look at the criteria put forth. (Stewart) has never been suspended before, never had a hearing before. Kronwall looks injured on the play, but he comes back. Is it an ugly hit? Yeah, it's not pretty. But he's a hard-nosed guy that has to play with that edge to be effective out there."

Between the distance Kronwall is from the boards and forceful way Stewart gives him a shove (extending his arms, as well) and the blueliner being more than a few feet from the puck should make this a multiple game suspension. Stewart may be a first time offender, but it was a reckless hit that could have easily been avoided.

UPDATE: Stewart had a phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan(notes) at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning.

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