Tampa Bay Times

Preds’ McCarron gets two-game ban for head hit on Gourde

- BY EDUARDO A. ENCINA Times Staff Writer

Predators forward Michael McCarron received a two-game suspension Sunday for an illegal hit to the head of Lightning forward Yanni Gourde in the final minute of the Lightning’s 3-0 win Saturday night.

When Gourde was collecting the puck in the neutral zone, McCarron came across center ice and sideswiped Gourde, his shoulder hitting Gourde’s head. McCarron received a match penalty.

The league ruled that Gourde’s head was clearly the main point of contact and deemed it was avoidable because Gourde did not change the position of his head or body just before or as the hit occurred.

“It’s hockey, it happens,” Gourd said when asked about the hit after the game. “I didn’t really see the replay, so we’ll see.”

McCarron had no history of suspension­s or fines in his 74-game NHL career. He missed Nashville’s game Sunday against Dallas and will miss Tuesday’s against the Lightning.

CANUCKS UPDATE:

Another player was added to the COVID-19 protocol list, so the NHL delayed the reopening of the team facility from Sunday to today at the earliest. That increased the number of players on the list to 20. Four staff members also tested positive. The decision to delay the reopening was not expected to affect the Canucks’ return to play scheduled for Friday. The Canucks have not played since March 24, with eight games postponed, because of their virus outbreak. JACKETS TRADE LONGTIME CAPTAIN: The Blue Jackets traded longtime captain Nick Foligno to the Maple Leafs so he can chase the Stanley Cup. Columbus received a 2021 first- and 2022 fourth-round draft pick from Toronto as part of a three-team trade that also involved San Jose. Foligno was one of the faces of the Blue Jackets for almost a decade. The trade was similar to the one Columbus made Saturday, sending defenseman David Savard to the Lightning for a firstround­er this year and thirdround­er next year. Seeing Savard, who was tied with Foligno as the organizati­on’s longest-tenured player, get traded was a signal to Foligno that things were changing and he could be next. The Blue Jackets are stockpilin­g high draft picks by selling ahead of this afternoon’s trade deadline after falling out of playoff contention.

LUNDQVIST OUT FOR YEAR:

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is abandoning an attempt to return from January heart surgery to play for the Capitals this year after a checkup showed inflammati­on.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Ryan Johansen was the lone scorer in the shootout, leading the host Predators to a 3-2 win over the Stars. Nashville has won four of five. … Former Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played his first game as a Capital in front of Boston’s fans in Washington’s 8-1 victory. Chara, the Bruins’ captain for his 14 seasons with the club, signed with Washington as a free agent in the offseason. The Bruins played a video tribute for Chara in the first. He got a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd, at 12 percent capacity. Chara raised his stick, clapped back to the crowd, patted his chest with his left glove and waved.

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