Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

April 20, 2014

NHL: Blackhawks try to regain footing without Seabrook

Chicago defenseman suspended three games for vicious hit on Backes

CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks felt the repercussions of Brent Seabrook's hit on David Backes again on Sunday.

How it affects the rest of their playoff series against the St. Louis Blues remains to be seen.

Seabrook was suspended for three games by the NHL on his 29th birthday for his elbow to Backes' head late in the third period of St. Louis' 4-3 overtime win in Game 2.

Now Chicago has to dig out of a 2-0 hole without one of its best defensemen in a rocky start to its Stanley Cup title defense.

"You need his size, you need his presence and experience and his leadership," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said before Seabrook's suspension was announced. "He's got the big shot on the point and he's on our power play as well. He kills penalties, so he plays all important minutes."

Seabrook received a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty after he wiped out Backes at 15:09 of the third, and the Blues used the resulting power play to score the tying goal with 6.4 seconds left in regulation on Vladimir Tarasenko's long wrist shot.

Backes had to be helped off the ice and did not return. The captain's status for Monday night's Game 3 is up in the air.

"All I know is he's upright, and that's about it right now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said Sunday. "We don't have any further information and probably won't have until late tomorrow."

Backes and Seabrook were not made available to the media on the day off, but much of the talk centered on the hit anyway. The TV broadcast picked up someone taunting Backes in the aftermath of the big blow, but it was unclear if it was coming from the ice or the crowd in the corner where the play occurred.

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