The referees in Friday’s game didn’t punish Boston’s Milan Lucic, but the league did so on Saturday.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety fined Lucic $5,000 for spearing Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser in the groin at 19:55 of the second period of Game 1.
"I didn’t really know what happened," DeKeyser told reporters in Boston after Saturday’s practice. "I was just skating back to the bench, and to be honest, right after the play I didn’t know who did it. I’m fine. It’s just happens sometimes during the game, so you just deal with it."
The Wings took their cue from DeKeyser in reacting to the fact that Lucic was fined and not suspended.
"That’s up to the league, what they want to do," Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "It’s the playoffs. It’s a tough time of year to play. Stuff like that is gonna happen here.
"You just hope the officials catch it, and if not, you just gotta play through it. It’s just a good thing Danny’s not really injured by it."
Said defenseman Brendan Smith: "I don’t think there’s a place for it. I guess he’s done it (before). When I look at Lucci, I think he’s just a big man — a big, enforcing man.
"He’d scare you in other ways instead of doing that. Maybe, it’s just one of those moments. It will be interesting to see what happens."
The referees didn’t assess a penalty during the game.
"Obviously, it was kind of the heat-of-the-moment thing, when you’re not thinking, when you do something like that," Lucic told reporters in Boston Saturday. "I’ve been in the league for seven years now and I think I’ve only done that three times.
"I don’t know why I did it, but it was the heat-of-the-moment things that unfortunately I did. I believe in playing within the rules, and for me, I definitely won’t be heading down that road again."
It isn’t the first time in recent memory that Lucic has done something like that.
Last month Montreal’s Alexei Emelin was the victim.
"It’s just funny, I never do that," Lucic told reporters in Boston. "I mean, I haven’t done that, but unfortunately, I’ve done it twice in the last little bit here. "I’m not going to make it a habit. I don’t know why I did it both times, but it’s not going to be a habit of mine."