Zac Rinaldo suspended 4 games

Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was suspended four games without pay for an illegal check to the head, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced.

Rinaldo had a hearing Monday for his hit Sunday night on Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel during the Flyers' 5-2 win.

Rinaldo will miss the final four games of the regular season and will forfeit $15,384.60 in salary, with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Ruhwedel sustained a concussion on the third-period hit by Rinaldo, who was given a match penalty for the blow to Ruhwedel's head. Ruhwedel will miss the remainder of the season.

"There's no big brother for them," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said of his inexperienced players. "They have to sink or swim, and certain games like this, it's going to catch up to us."

Rinaldo, who entered with a team-high 137 penalty minutes, racked up 16 on Sunday.

"It's unfortunate it's for the remainder of the season," Rinaldo said Monday night. "It's just one of those hits that kind of slipped away from me. It was bad timing and a little vulnerability on his side of the puck, too. My bad and his bad at the same time."

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren called the suspension "harsh."

Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press was used in this report.