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WATCH: Devils Brendan Smith Lays Big Hit on Blackhawks Connor Bedard

Brendan Smith lays Connor Bedard out with big, clean hit.



New Jersey Devils

Newark — Who had a rumble between the New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks on their bingo board?

I’m guessing not many.

By the halfway point of the first period, the Devils had done a decent job controlling the majority of the play. With the puck on the end of Blackhawks rookie sensation Connor Bedard’s stick, Devils hybrid skater Brendan Smith laid a big hit on Bedard that sent him straight to the locker room.

It’s not a surprise to Devils fans to see Smith’s physical game. In his new hybrid role this season, he’s embracing the gritty forward role.

Following the hit, a big scrum between the Devils and Blackhawks ensued. In today’s NHL, after any big hit, fisticuffs tend to follow. Especially when it’s the youngest All-Star in NHL history and the likely Calder Trophy winner.

Philipp Kurashev took exception and went after Smith and Nick Foligno followed. The officials eventually broke up the scrum and assessed a handful of penalties, although none relating to the hit. Smith and Foligno each went to the box for roughing, with Foligno serving an extra two minutes on a double minor.

It was an unfortunate outcome to an otherwise clean hit by Smith. Smith has seen his fair share of discipline this season, he’s not likely to receive any for this one.

Bedard did not return to the ice for the remainder of the game. However, the chippiness continued.

The Hawks tried to get their revenge on the Devils in the form of Connor Murphy. While skating up ice to the Hawks zone, Murphy blasted captain Nico Hischier with a retaliatory hit. Hischier took a moment to get on his skates and eventually went down the tunnel for the remainder of the first period as well. The Devils captain returned in the second.

The Blackhawks announced on Saturday that Bedard suffered a broken jaw and Foligno fractured a left finger as a result of Friday’s physicality.

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