New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has been suspended three games for his hit on St. Louis Blues captain David Backes late in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The NHL announced the decision Sunday, less than 24 hours after Seabrook sent Backes into the corner boards with a check to the head, leading to St. Louis' game-tying goal in the final seconds.
Seabrook's hit came past the time frame when Backes was eligible to be checked, the NHL said.
"Seabrook drives up and into Backes, delivering a blow with his right shoulder that causes Backes to slam violently into the glass and boards," said Patrick Burke, the league's director of player safety. "This is both interference and charging."
Seabrook received a charging major and game misconduct with 4:51 left in regulation, helping St. Louis score the equalizer with 6.4 seconds remaining. The Blues won in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Backes was visibly shaken up by the hit and had to be held up by a trainer as he attempted to get back to his feet.
His status for Monday's Game 3 in Chicago has yet to be determined. Seabrook isn't eligible to return until Game 6, if the series lasts that long.