There was a scary situation just three minutes into Saturday night's game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. Hawks' forward Brett Connolly leveled Stars' forward Tanner Kero with a massive hit that knocked Kero out cold. Connolly received a five-minute major penalty for interference and a game misconduct as well.
Dallas trainers attended to Kero for several minutes and eventually took him off the ice on a stretcher. According to the Stars, Tanner Kero is alert and responsive but will go to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
The play was clearly an interference infraction as Connolly rammed into Kero, who did not have the puck. Dallas was attempting to clear the zone and a chip play along the boards sailed wide of Kero. Connolly appeared committed to the hit regardless, and it cost his team.
On the ensuing five-minute all-you-can-score major, Joe Pavelski found the back of the net twice to put Chicago in an early 2-0 hole.
Brett Connolly Isn't Doing Himself Any Favors
Saturday's short-lived outing was just the second time Brett Connolly suited up for the Blackhawks this season. The veteran forward began the season with the Rockford IceHogs before Chicago recalled him from the AHL club on December 12. He made his NHL season debut Wednesday night and was a healthy scratch Friday night.
It may be a while before his next outing as the NHL's Department of Player Safety will likely take a closer look at the hit.