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Maple Leafs’ Bunting receives match penalty for hit on Lightning’s Cernak

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head on Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Erik Cernak during Tuesday night’s NHL playoff game.

The incident occurred with 4:20 remaining in the second period of Game 1 of the first-round playoff series when Bunting appeared to hit the unsuspecting Cernak in the head in front of the Tampa Bay net.

Cernak, who did not have the puck, fell backwards to the ice and went to the locker room.

Tampa Bay led Toronto 4-2 at the time of the play.

Bunting had 23 goals and 26 assists in 82 games for Toronto this season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press