Blackhawks' Connor Murphy ejected after landing hit to head of Lightning's Erik Cernak

Arun Srinivasan
·Writer
·2 min read
Mar 7, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) checks Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) during the second period at the United Center. Murphy received a match misconduct penalty on the play. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports - 15688877
Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Connor Murphy received a match penalty for a hit to the head on Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Erik Cernak. (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Connor Murphy will likely be hearing from the NHL Department of Player Safety after landing an ugly hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lighting defenceman Erik Cernak on Sunday. 

With Sunday's contest tied at 3-3, Cernak burst into the offensive zone and flew past Blackhawks defender Nikita Zadorov, gamely stick-checking him to corral the puck. As Cernak established possession with his head down, Murphy swung around from the other side of the net and delivered a crushing blow to the head, with his feet leaving the ice as Cernak was beginning to look up. 

The refs blew the whistle immediately, as Cernak stayed down the ice before leaving the game, and did not return. Murphy received a match penalty and was ejected. 

Below is the hit in question: 

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper did not provide an update on Cernak's status and did not want to discuss Murphy's hit after the game. 

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

It's been a week full of ugly hits to the head, unfortunately. San Jose's Joachim Blichfeld was suspended two games after landing a head shot on Colorado superstar Nathan MacKinnon, while Washington's Tom Wilson earned a seven-game suspension after sending Boston's Brandon Carlo to the hospital with a high hit.

More coverage from Yahoo Sports