Reporting Adam Hoge
By Adam Hoge-
LOS ANGELES (CBS) Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended one game by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety Wednesday for his high-stick on Kings center Jeff Carter Tuesday night.
Brendan Shanahan, the league’s director of player safety, announced the suspension Wednesday after meeting with Duncan Keith earlier in the day.
“This is more serious than a case of a player simply having to be responsible for his stick,” Shanahan said in the explanation released by the NHL. “It is not an accidental high-stick nor is it a defensive high-stick to an opponent. This is a retaliatory high-stick to an opponent that causes an injury.”
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The incident happened in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 3-1 loss to the Kings in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Keith had lost his glove in a battle with Carter and when Carter jabbed at the glove as Keith went to pick it up, the Hawks’ defenseman swung his stick and caught Carter in the mouth. The center needed 20 stitches and had some damage to his teeth.
“Even if Carter did indeed chop down on Keith’s hand, that still does not justify the extent of Keith’s actions,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan also pointed out that Keith is a repeat offender as he was suspended five games in 2012 for an elbow to Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin’s head.
“We had a hearing and I said my piece,” Keith said earlier Wednesday before the ruling came down. “Said the same thing last night, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to get him where I got him.”
Meanwhile, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford wasn’t too happy with Carter’s actions before Keith retaliated.
“Maybe should look at the two slashes Carter threw at his hand right before that,” he said Wednesday. “He took a couple shots at him. Obviously you can’t hit a guy in the face, but it was some pretty vicious slashes right before that.”
With Keith out for Game 4 Thursday night at the Staples Center, expect Sheldon Brookbank to see his first action of the postseason. Brookbank played in 26 of 48 regular season games.
For more Blackhawks coverage throughout the playoffs, follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamHoge.