Scott Cullen looks at the Brent Seabrook suspension (and wakey, wakey), the Habs putting the Lightning on the brink and the Sharks smacking down the Kings, while the Flyers and Bruins both got back to even ground. Discount Air Force Ones . SEABROOK SUSPENSION Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook was suspended for three games as a result of his Game Two hit on Blues C David Backes. While Seabrook knows how long his sentence will be, the Blues dont know when Backes will be cleared to return to action. Let me start by saying this: both Seabrook and Backes could play on my team any day. They are both really good players who play hard hockey and I like the way they play, a lot. Seabrook is a physical defenceman that has accumulated 475 hits over the past three seasons, with only 67 penalty minutes, in 207 games. If anything, Seabrooks rep, to some degree, has been that hes been a high-profile victim of nasty hits, including this one by James Wisniewski and this one by Raffi Torres. So when Seabrook unloaded on Backes in this manner, it wasnt exactly something that was part of his standard operating procedure. There are a few elements at play that I think lead to this hit. First of all, the stakes are extremely high for the Blackhawks and Blues. Both teams are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders and one of them will be done after the first round. To that end, its been a physical series and when the Blackhawks see captain Jonathan Toews get crunched with a big hit by Blues enforcer Ryan Reaves in Game One, that fuels the fire. (Note, in the aftermath of Seabrooks hit that Toews is front-and-centre with some words for Backes. They do have some history.) Thats not to say that the Blackhawks were on a mission to exact revenge, only that when the Blackhawks captain is getting rocked, theyre not likely to let up if they catch an opponent in a vulnerable spot. My guess about the play is that Seabrook anticipated that Backes was going to pick up the puck as it ringed around the boards, and Backes tried to handle the puck but lost it, and Seabrook saw an opportunity to deliver a big hit in the corner (maybe even knowing it was Backes), committed to it, and then when Backes didnt have the puck, he followed through anyway. Seabrook certainly didnt seem bothered by the result of the play. Now, whatever Toews said to Backes, it appears to be someone else weighing in that has really raised the temperature. As an obviously groggy Backes was struggling to stay on his feet, leaning on the boards, it sounds like one of the Blackhawks (Duncan Keith has been the prime suspect for video sleuths) taunts the Blues centre, saying, "Wakey, wakey, Backes." That Keith was slashing his way through the game doesnt add anything positive to what is possibly the second Norris Trophy-winning season of his career. Its unseemly to taunt an injured player, not least of all when the injury is highly likely to be a concussion, and Blues LW Alexander Steen was suitably ticked off in response, but my suspicion is that this isnt the first time an injured player has been on the receiving end of verbal jabs. Theyre just not always picked up by rinkside microphones. What makes the NHL playoffs the best part of the sports calendar is the intensity, how much the players really care about winning and losing, but that isnt always reflected in courageous moments worthy of promotion. Maybe Im holding NHL players to a lower standard, and in no way am I suggesting its a cool boys-will-be-boys situation, but I think its more about insanely competitive people in an emotionally-charged atmosphere losing sight of where the lines are drawn for good taste and acceptable behaviour. Ive long maintained that an X-rated NHL channel, one that includes audio from the benches and players miked up on the ice, would be amazing, yet dont imagine that the league would ever do it. Not because players start every third word with F, rather, its the other talk that goes so beyond socially acceptable behaviour, that it would be a PR nightmare. For as much as increased access can add flavour, sometimes you dont really want to know how the sausage is made. FLYERS EVEN Flyers G Ray Emery was a standout, stopping 31 of 33 shots by the New York Rangers, helping Philadelphia to a 4-2 win in Game Two, tying the series at one game apiece. In a game that saw the New York Rangers dominate possession rather handily, with nearly 60% of the five-on-five play, the Flyers rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, getting goals from Jakub Voracek, Jason Akeson and Luke Schenn before Wayne Simmonds hit the empty net to ice the game in the final minute. Akeson, who was something of a goat for his costly double-minor penalty in the first game of the series, scored a power play goal and was the Flyers best possession player (77.8% Corsi%) while skating primarily with Sean Couturier and Matt Read and Akeson started in the offensive zone only once in a dozen shifts that started with 5-on-5 face-offs. At the other end of the spectrum for the Flyers, D Andrew MacDonald -- who recently signed a six-year, $30-million contract extension -- was destroyed at even strength, with a 16.7% Corsi%, yet he played the most even-strength minutes of any Flyers blueliner. Theres nothing wrong with the end result -- take the split on the road any way you can get it -- but the Flyers will need to be better when they return home for Game Three. They cant bank on Ray Emery outdueling Henrik Lundqvist on a consistent basis. BRUINS BOUNCE BACK The Boston Bruins started quickly in Game Two, jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead while outshooting the Detroit Red Wings 18-10 in the first period, on their way to a 4-1 victory, which evened the series 1-1. Bostons second and fourth goals came on the power play and there was a time late in the first period that the Red Wings appeared to be getting lured into the Bruins rough-and-tumble game. In the overall game, the Red Wings had strong enough possession numbers, but the Bruins carried leads of two-plus goals for more than 44 minutes, so score effects negate the value that Detroit might wish to take from those stats. Bruins G Tuukka Rask stopped 34 of 35 shots for the win. RW Jarome Iginla and D Torey Krug each contributed a couple of assists for Boston, who got goals from LW Justin Florek, RW Reilly Smith, LW Milan Lucic and D Zdeno Chara. Florek, the 23-year-old, 6-foot-4 rookie out of Northern Michigan, has been filling in for Chris Kelly at left wing on the third line, with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, and hasnt looked out of place. Guess its not just the Red Wings that can take an unheralded young forward and seamlessly slide them into the lineup. LIGHTNING IN TROUBLE A disallowed goal proved to be the difference as the Montreal Canadiens held on to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. For the second straight game, Canadiens LW Rene Bourque was force, scoring once and registering eight shots on goal as part of a dominant possession game when he was on the ice, his most shots on goal in a Montreal uniform. Canadiens RW Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist, giving him four points in three games in this series. Gallagher, playing with C Tomas Plekanec and LW Brandon Prust, has also been strong in possession terms, so his point production is backed by solid underlying numbers. Montreal D P.K. Subban added a pair of assists, playing more than 28 minutes in Game Three, to give him four points in the series. Its too early to go assigning blame, but one player that the Lightning could use more from is RW Ryan Callahan, who has no points, three shots on goal and a minus-4 rating, with a 47.4% Corsi, while his ice time ranks fourth among Tampa Bay forwards in this series. Lightning C Steven Stamkos, who left the game for a bit after taking a knee to the head from Canadiens D Alexei Emelin, assisted on both Tampa Bay goals, giving him four points in three games, but it hasnt been enough for the Lightning, who need a miracle if they are going to rally from a three-games-to-none deficit. SHARKS BITE KINGS After losing 6-3 to the San Jose sharks in Game One, the Los Angeles Kings needed a good start to Game Two, and they got it, leading 2-0 before the game was 10 minutes old. From that point on, however, it was all Sharks, as San Jose scored seven unanswered goals, with several more close calls, as the game turned into a rout. The Kings could have known they were in trouble by the nature of the players that got the Sharks on the board. San Joses first two goals were scored by RW Mike Brown, a winger who has five goals in 145 games over the past three seasons, and LW Raffi Torres, with both goals set up by Andrew Desjardins (incidentally, those three forwards had the worst possession numbers for San Jose in Game Two). Add in a goal by D Justin Braun, and suddenly the Kings were losing without any of the Sharks big guns firing. San Jose rectified that in the third period, as Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton all tallied. Pavelski finished with three points, while rookie RW Matt Nieto and D Dan Boyle each added two assists. Kings G Jonathan Quick was in net for all seven goals against, on 40 shots, and while that is a tough night in the cage by any measure, it also stood out that none of the goals were on deflections or rebounds. There were screens, sure, but every goal came on an initial shot and to have that happen seven times in one game is rare for any goaltender, let alone one that has played as well in the playoffs as Quick had prior to this season. After being outscored 13-5 in two games, Los Angeles will return home licking its proverbial wounds, but until a team gets a crack on home ice, its too soon to write them off entirely. What the Kings need, in addition to some semblance of a possession game, is that they need Quick to be far better than hes shown through the first couple games. Without goaltending, its going to be virtually impossible to knock off a team as strong as the Sharks. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Discount Nike Air Max . A veteran of 16 NHL seasons, Prospals career was highlighted by him ranking fourth in points scored, third in assists and sixth in games played among all Czech Republic born players in NHL history. Adidas Shoes Clearance Sale . Though the 26-year-old said he was able to participate, coach Dwane Casey kept Johnson out as a precaution. http://www.brandshoescheaponline.com/wholesale-nike-air-vapormax-china/vapormax-2019-clearance-sale.html . Ellis had a season-high 37 points and two key assists late, Dirk Nowitzki led a fourth-quarter rally with 14 of his 35 points, and the Mavericks spoiled Howards best offensive night in Houston with a 123-120 victory over the Rockets on Wednesday night.GREEN BAY, Wis. - After an exhilarating win in the snow, Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu got even better news when he returned to the locker room. Remarkably, the Steelers are still in the playoff chase. Polamalus forced fumble set up LeVeon Bells 1-yard touchdown run with 1:28 left, then Pittsburgh withstood Green Bays last throw into the end zone and dealt the Packers playoff hopes a blow with a 38-31 victory Sunday. Its a longshot, but the Steelers (7-8), after starting 0-4 this season, are still mathematically in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot. They need a lot of help. "Its been a long road for us, but we still have our struggles. We were one play from losing that game," Polamalu said. It would be a near-miracle if they can get through another week. The Steelers need to beat the Browns in Week 17, and need the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers — all 8-7 — to lose. "Its irrelevant, to be honest. Nothing has changed from our standpoint," Polamalu said. "Our mental approach to the game has got to be a week-by-week thing." The loss meant Green Bay (7-7-1) needed Chicago to lose at Philadelphia on Sunday night to stay in playoff contention. "Im not into drama," coach Mike McCarthy said. "We wanted to control our own destiny, we let that opportunity out of our hands." The Packers were back in control by nights end. The Bears lost 54-11, turning next weeks matchup with Green Bay into a showdown for the NFC North title at Soldier Field. Bells TD came soon after scrambling Packers quarterback Matt Flynn fumbled while being tackled by Polamalu. The Steelers recovered at the Packers 17 and scored five plays later, aided in part by an encroachment penalty by the Packers Nick Perry, on what would have been a field-goal attempt, to extend the drive. Micah Hydes 70-yard kickoff return to the Steelers 31 gave the Packers one last chance. Green Bay got to the 1, but Flynns pass to Jarrett Boykin sailed incomplete in the end zone to end the game. The last few seconds were marred by a false start penalty that pushed the Packers back to the 6 and included a 10-second runoff down to 10 seconds remaining. The Packers didnt get the snap off until 3 seconds were left, and Flynn said it appeared the umpire was holding uup the centre but started the clock while backing up. Cheap Air Max 90 China. "I dont know what happened, really," Flynn said. "The operation seemed kind of weird right there," Flynn said. Just like the rest of the second half. Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dashed through the snow for a 13-yard score in the third quarter. But a rarely seen illegal batting call nearly spoiled the Steelers night After the Steelers blocked the kick, a scramble ensued and the jostled ball ended up near the sideline, where Steelers defensive lineman Ziggy Hood poked it out of bounds. After conferring for a few minutes, the officials penalized Hood and gave possession to Green Bay, ruling the Steelers never controlled the ball after the block and that it never crossed the line of scrimmage of the Steelers 5. Safety Ryan Clark said he could have picked up the ball, but he was slowed after spraining his ankle in the game and tried to lateral the ball, but it squirted free and eventually got to Hood. "Its human error in this game," Clark said. "The guy didnt see it, he didnt have the opportunity to know if I had possession, so he made the call that he saw and thats part of football. Its no big deal, we won." Given another chance, Eddie Lacy barrelled into the end zone from 2 yards for a 21-17 lead. Instead of sulking, the Steelers answered quickly. Ben Roethlisberger found Matt Spaeth for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 2 minutes left in the third. Fourteen seconds later, Allen had his clutch interception. The Packers roared back with a 22-yard field goal by Mason Crosby before John Kuhns 1-yard touchdown run with 7:17 left tied the game at 31. But the Steelers finally finished things off with Bells touchdown run and the Packers failed last-ditch throw into the end zone. Notes: Bell finished with 26 carries for 124 yards. ... Lacy had 15 carries for 84 yards and two scores but later left with a sprained ankle. ... Flynn finished 21 of 39 for 232 yards making his fourth start in place of injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers (left collarbone). ... Packers LB Clay Matthews left following a sack after re-aggravating a right thumb injury. ' ' '