The NHL has suspended Los Angeles Kings winger Brendan Lemieux for 5 games ... after the league ruled he did, in fact, bite his opponent last weekend.
Lemieux was involved in a scrum with Senators star Brady Tkachuk last Saturday at Staples Center ... when, at one point, Tkhachuk accused the L.A. player of ripping into his hand with his teeth.
Video from the play shows Tkachuk was pissed over the incident -- showing his bloody hand to refs and screaming, "He f***ing bit me!"
After several days of investigating, the NHL announced Tuesday night Lemieux did take a chunk of skin out of Tkachuk -- and now, he'll have to pay for it.
The league revealed Lemieux will be forced to sit out 5 games, and he'll also have to cough up around $40k of his salary.
Lemieux -- the son of ex-NHLer Claude Lemieux -- had been having a solid season for the Kings, scoring 4 goals in 14 games.
As for Tkachuk, who's the son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk, we're sure he's thrilled over the punishment ... 'cause after the altercation over the weekend, he called Lemieux a "brick head," a "bad guy," and "a joke."