Hawks' Shaw gets three games for running Smith

Goaltender Mike Smith is looked at by the team doctor after a hard collision with Andrew Shaw of...

Goaltender Mike Smith is looked at by the team doctor after a hard collision with Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period of Game 2. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Rob Longley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:01 PM ET

CHICAGO - After more than two days of waiting for his sentence, Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw was slapped hard by NHL hanging judge Brendan Shanahan Tuesday afternoon when he was issued a three-game suspension.

While most everything has been fair game these playoffs, Shanahan ruled that goaltenders are not and thus Shaw’s hit on Phoenix Coyotes netminder Mike Smith was penalized severely.

Shaw, who headed behind the Coyotes' net to play the puck, clocked Smith with a shoulder to the head that left the goalie sprawled on the ice for several minutes.

In his ruling Shanahan says: “A goalkeeper is not fair game. In our opinion Shaw does not make a reasonable effort to avoid contact.”

The Hawks saw it otherwise, of course, and felt losing Shaw for a five-minute major and the remainder of Saturday’s game was enough.

The sideshow is sure to add some spice to Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the Western Conference quarter-final which is now tied at a game apiece as it hits the Windy City.

The Coyotes were certainly still fired up about the incident at the pre-game skate with captain Shane Doan hinting that Shaw won’t have just the league to answer to.

“I think (Shaw) knows and everybody knows that if you take a five-minute major on a goalie, obviously it’s noticed by the other team,” Coyotes captain Doan said following his team’s morning skate.

“If I was to do it to (Chicago goalie Corey Crawford) I’m sure there would be the exact same feelings towards me. There’s no doubt that it’s not something we appreciate and we’re not too happy about.”

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was equally animated with terse one-word answers on Smith’s condition and details of the hearing. When first asked about Shaw, he responded: “It doesn’t concern me. He’s not on our team. That’s an issue for their team.

Smith participated in the team’s morning workout - just as he finished Game 2 - but Tippett said his star goaltender would be a game-time decision but it will be a shock if he doesn't play.

When asked about the Shaw hit, Tippett said it should have been obvious to the league that it was worthy of a suspension.

“It was a blatant hit to the head with no intent to miss the goalie,” Tippett said. “It’s the exact hit they are trying to take out of the game.”

Smith went down like he was shot when the collision with Shaw took place behind the Coyotes net. After several minutes recuperating, he remained in the net and Phoenix scored on the subsequent power-play. Shaw was given a five-minute major and game misconduct.

With the series tied at a game apiece, it is clearly a matchup that is building in intensity as the No. 3 seed Coyotes try to advance past the first round for the first time in three consecutive playoff appearances. The No. 6 seed Hawks, meanwhile, are looking to regain their Stanley Cup form from a year ago.

The United Center is expected to be it’s usual rocking self, especially with the first appearance of captain Jonathan Toews for the first time in nearly two months. Toews, who was out with a concussion since Feb. 19, returned for Games 1 and 2 in Phoenix.

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca

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