On Monday, they exchanged cheap shots.
Tampa Bay forward Steve Downie left his feet to take aim at Pens defenseman Ben Lovejoy six minutes into regulation. The collision resulted in a delayed penalty, although Max Talbot scored to negate it. It happened in a “hitting area,” which was NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell’s reasoning behind not suspending Vancouver’s Raffi Torres for a Sunday collision, but I don’t think anywhere on the ice has a “launching area.” Here’s a look at the hit:
Midway through the first, it was Pens forward Chris Kunitz who tossed a fairly targeted (and sneaky) elbow at the head of Lightning forward Simon Gagne. Kunitz received a two-minute minor for elbowing. Here's a look at that hit:
Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Gagne's thoughts on the hit:
"I'm sure the league will take a look at it," Gagne said. "We all saw what happened. He went right at my head. The ref asked if I was OK. You see it good on the replay."
Gagne said he was fine following the hit, despite his history with head injuries.
"I feel OK," he said. "That's the only comment I've got right now. You know the league is going to take a long look at that. We all know what the rules are."
The league is reportedly taking took more than just a look at both hits during Game 3, a tilt the Pens won, 3-2. Both Downie and Kunitz will have hearings over the phone with Campbell and other NHL officials on Tuesday, according to TSN.
-- A.J. Perez