Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook high and late hit on David Backes has cost his team dearly. Down 2-0 in the series, Chicago will have to fight its way back without his help after he was assessed a three-game suspension for his actions.
That’s on top of Seabrook’s check arguably costing Chicago Saturday’s game.
Chicago had a 3-2 lead at 15:09 of the third period when Seabrook was assessed a five-minute major. St. Louis forward Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game on the resulting power play en route to a 4-3 overtime win that put the Blues up 2-0 in the series.
The NHL determined that Seabrook had enough time to avoid the check after Backes skated by the puck, but instead he “delivered a violent blow that causes the defenseless Backes to crash dangerously into the boards.”
Seabrook hadn’t previously been fined or suspended, which presumably worked in his favor, but the NHL also factored in that Backes suffered an injury.
It remains to be seen whether Backes will be available for Game 3.
“I have no idea … I have no idea right now,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said on Sunday, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I know one thing: he couldn’t play today.”
You can watch the suspension video below:
Seabrook: ‘I was just trying to make a play on Backes’
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.