Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended one game by the NHL for his high-sticking penalty in Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings.
"This is a retaliatory high stick to an opponent that causes an injury," said Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's senior vice president of player safety, in announcing the suspension.
Keith had a hearing with the NHL on Wednesday morning regarding his high stick that cut the face of Kings forward Jeff Carter. The play, in which Keith retaliated to Carter's swipe at his hand, occurred far from the puck and left Carter bloodied. Carter required 20 stitches to repair his cut.
The NHL did not announce the news until several hours after the Hawks practiced at the Staples Center. There, Keith practiced along with his teammates in preparation for Game 4.
"In the middle of the process, it's tough to comment on it," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
However, it was much easier for the Hawks to comment on their respect level for Keith.
"Everyone has tons of respect," Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford said. "He plays the game the right way.
"Maybe [the media] should look at the two slashes Carter threw at his hand right before that. He took a couple shots at him. Obviously you can’t hit a guy in the face, but it [included] some pretty vicious slashes right before that."
Minus Keith, the Hawks likely will activate defenseman Sheldon Brookbank for the first time during the postseason.