Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left Tuesday’s Recreation 1 towards the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body damage after being hit by Michael Bunting. The hit resulted in a match penalty for Bunting, whereas Cernak couldn’t return to the sport. Now Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper has stated that the defenseman won’t play in Recreation 2 towards Leafs.
The 25-year-old Cernak has been out and in of the lineup this season, lacking quick intervals as a result of numerous accidents. This newest damage might be a priority for the Lightning, who might be seeking to defend their Stanley Cup championship.
Erik Cernak’s 2022-2023 NHL season statistics present that he has performed in all 70 video games of the season thus far, scoring two targets and offering 14 assists for a complete of 16 factors.
At current, the severity of Cernak’s damage and his availability for upcoming video games is unclear. The Lightning might want to make changes to their defensive pairings with out Cernak in Recreation 2. They’ve a number of choices, together with transferring Mikhail Sergachev to Cernak’s spot.
The Lightning have handled accidents to key gamers all through the season however managed to remain aggressive. They might want to proceed to depend on their depth if Cernak is unable to play.
Michael Bunting of the Toronto Maple Leafs to face listening to for hit on Lightning’s Erik Cernak
The Tampa Bay Lightning gained the primary recreation of their first-round collection towards the Toronto Maple Leafs in convincing trend. However the victory might have come at a value. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak was on the receiving finish of an unlawful hit from Maple Leafs ahead Michael Bunting. The NHL has introduced that Bunting may have a listening to for the incident.
The hit occurred with simply over 4 minutes left within the second interval, with the Lightning main 4-2. Bunting hit Cernak within the head, resulting in a match penalty for Bunting and the tip of Cernak’s night time. The Lightning defenseman had already been penalized earlier within the recreation for roughing Bunting.
The NHL’s participant security division reviewed the hit and confirmed it as a five-minute main penalty. Bunting may have a listening to on Wednesday for an unlawful hit to the pinnacle/interference.
The Lightning might be hoping that Erik Cernak can return to the lineup quickly, as they appear to defend their third consecutive Jap Convention championship. In the meantime, the Maple Leafs might be hoping to bounce again in Recreation 2.