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NHL slaps Lucic for spearing DeKeyser

Bruins' forward was fined $5,000 for pitchforking Red Wings' young defenseman

Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 3:25 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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NHL slaps Lucic for spearing DeKeyser
Danny DeKeyser spoke to the media at TD Garden Saturday afternoon after learning the league had fined Bruins' Milan Lucic for his cheap shot on the Red Wings' defenseman. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

BOSTON – Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic admitted to acting out of frustration when he pitch-forked the Red Wings’ Danny DeKeyser just before the second intermission of Friday’s Game 1 of the teams’ opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series.

“Obviously, kind of the heat of the moment thing when you’re not thinking and you do something like that,” Lucic said Saturday afternoon. “I’ve been in the league for seven years and I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know why I did it, like I said I think it’s a heat of the moment things that unfortunately I did.

DeKeyser made a clean body check on the Bruins’ 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward in the defensive zone. But as the play shifted up ice, Lucic, who was trailing the play, swung his stick upwards like a pitchfork between DeKeyser’s legs.

“I didn’t really know what happened, I was just kind of skating back to the bench and to be honest right after the play I didn’t even know who did it,” DeKeyser said. “I’m fine. Just something that happens during the game. Just deal with it.”

For his actions, which occurred behind the play at 19:55 of the second, the NHL’s department of player safety fined Lucic $5,000 on Saturday. No penalty was assessed on the play.

“I believe in playing within the rules,” said Lucic, who had a telephone hearing with the league but will not be suspended. “I definitely won’t be heading down that road again.”

Lucic also speared Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin in a game last month. Lucic denied it at the time, and later called Emelin a “chicken” for a hip check. Lucic said Saturday he’s concerned about gaining a reputation as a dirty player, but cheap shots like the one Friday don’t look good in the court of public opinion.

“It’s just funny, I never do that,” Lucic said. “But unfortunately I’ve done it twice in the last little bit here so I’m not going to make it a habit. I don’t know why I did it both times. It’s not going to be a habit of mine. I believe in playing it in between the rules, the right way, that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

There wasn’t a lot of after-the-whistle shenanigans in the series-opener, which is perfect for the Red Wings, who prefer to intimidate through their skill and speed.

“We want to play in between the whistles,” Wings defenseman Brendan Smith said. “All that junk that happens after, there’ no point of it. We wanted to stay very disciplined in that sense and just play our game and use our speed and take advantage of it.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89