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Predators’ Michael McCarron suspended for illegal hit to head of Lightning’s Yanni Gourde

The NHL says the hit in the last minute of the Lightning’s 3-0 win Saturday was avoidable.
Yanni Gourde scores an empty-net goal against the Predators with 46 seconds left in the Lightning's 3-0 win Saturday night in Nashville. Twenty seconds later, he got an illegal  hit in the head from the Predators' Michael McCarron.
Yanni Gourde scores an empty-net goal against the Predators with 46 seconds left in the Lightning's 3-0 win Saturday night in Nashville. Twenty seconds later, he got an illegal hit in the head from the Predators' Michael McCarron. [ MARK HUMPHREY | AP ]
Published Apr. 11
Updated Apr. 11

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, with 26 seconds left. 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 simultaneously 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 received a two-game suspension in part because he had no history of suspensions or fines in his 74-game NHL career. He also will forfeit $12,069 in pay as part of the suspension.

McCarron will miss Nashville’s game Sunday against Dallas and Tuesday’s against the Lightning.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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