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Blackhawks D Seabrook suspended for 3 games for hit on Blues C Backes

St. Louis Blues center David Backes lies on the ice after taking a hit from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in the third period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in St. Louis. Backes was tended to by a trainer and left the ice under his own power. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

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St. Louis Blues center David Backes lies on the ice after taking a hit from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in the third period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in St. Louis. Backes was tended to by a trainer and left the ice under his own power. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

CHICAGO - Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook has been suspended for three games for his hit on Blues centre David Backes during their first-round playoff series.

The NHL announced the punishment Sunday, Seabrook's 29th birthday.

Seabrook received a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty for a vicious elbow to Backes' head late in the third period of Saturday's Game 2. Backes had to be helped off the ice and did not return during St. Louis' 4-3 overtime victory.

Seabrook's penalty led to Vladimir Tarasenko's tying goal with 6.4 seconds left in regulation.

The suspension is a big blow for the Blackhawks, who are down 2-0 heading into Game 3 on Monday night. Seabrook had a goal and an assist in each of the first two games of the series.

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