Blackhawks' Murphy could get suspension after match penalty

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy, seen here in a 2018 game in Denver, was given a match penalty for hitting Erik Cernak in the head during the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday.

    Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy, seen here in a 2018 game in Denver, was given a match penalty for hitting Erik Cernak in the head during the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/7/2021 6:30 PM

Connor Murphy, who was given a match penalty and ejected for hitting Erik Cernak in the head during the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, could be facing further discipline from the NHL.

The Hawks' defenseman hit Cernak behind the Lightning goal midway through the second period with the game tied 3-3. Cernak lay on the ice for a few minutes and was attended to by a Tampa Bay trainer.

 

The defenseman did not return to the game.

Murphy was given a five-minute major, which put Tampa Bay on the power play to score as many goals as it could during that time. Two minutes were wiped out, however, when Victor Hedman tripped Ryan Carpenter at 12:14.

Asked if he had an update on Cernak or a comment on the hit, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper paused and said: "No and no."

He later said, "I don't have any idea of the severity of what's wrong with (Cernak). But injuries are gonna happen. It's just tough when they happen like that."

Asked if he's worried about Murphy being suspended, coach Jeremy Colliton said: "Not my place to comment on what should happen next. He's playing hard. He finished. I thought he went through his chest. I haven't looked at it in slo-mo. I guess we'll see what happens."

Shuffling D:

With Calvin de Haan missing Sunday's game, Wyatt Kalynuk made his NHL debut for the Hawks, playing 10.5 minutes. His turnover in the defensive zone helped lead to Tampa Bay's fifth goal.

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Still, coach Jeremy Colliton like what he saw from the rookie.

"I really liked his first period," Colliton said. "He had multiple shifts, closed in D-zone, got a stop, was clean with the puck, he skated it a bunch of times. It's not super fair what we'ved ask some of these guys, the responsibility and the ice time and the matchups."

De Haan will travel with the Hawks as they begin a six-game trip in Dallas on Tuesday. Colliton isn't sure how long the veteran will be out.

Shootout specialist:

Malcolm Subban improved to 6-0 all-time in shootout after the Blackhawks defeated Tampa Bay 4-3 at the United Center on Friday. Subban turned away all 3 Lightning shots and is now sports an .955 save percentage (21-for-22) during shootouts. He ranks No. 1 all-time in save percentage (minimum 10 shots faced), with Johan Holmqvist checking in at No. 2 at .865.

Asked if Subban's incredible numbers might prompt a strategy change when games go to overtime, coach Jeremy Colliton said: "It's kind of hard. You're not playing a game to get to the shootout. You're trying to win. But obviously he's had a lot of success. We've seen him in practice. He competes hard. He's one of the guys staying late after practice, taking shots, breakaways, all those things. He was real good, for sure."

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