CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks felt the repercussions of Brent Seabrook's hit on David Backes again 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.
Seabrook received a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty after he hit Backes at 15:09 of the third. The Blues used the resulting power play to score the tying goal with 6.4 seconds left in regulation on Vladimir Tarasenko's 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.
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.
Quenneville said he did not see or hear any players taunting Backes after he went down.
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