Pens' Kunitz not suspended for check

Updated: May 5, 2009, 7:03 PM ET
By Scott Burnside |

Chris Kunitz


Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz has been fined the maximum amount under the collective bargaining agreement, $2,500, for cross-checking Washington netminder Simeon Varlamov late in Game 2 on Monday night, has learned.

The fine comes in spite of calls from Washington star Alex Ovechkin for Kunitz to be suspended.

Reporters in Arlington -- where the Capitals practiced before traveling to Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon -- heard an angry Ovechkin complain that the hit was a "cheap shot" and that Kunitz should be suspended.

"I think it's dirty and I think the league has to do something about it," Ovechkin was quoted as saying on the Washington Post Web site.

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Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau said after the Capitals' 4-3 victory that Kunitz deliberately cross-checked his rookie netminder and called the hit "vicious".

Pittsburgh Penguins' coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday he didn't think concerns over the play were justified.

"He was going to the net, trying to create a loose puck and trying to jam home a rebound," Bylsma said. "He had no intention of doing anything but that and trying to get back in the game. For me, it was a battle, he was in there tight, was making contact with the goalie -- I don't think there was intention to do anything other than create a loose puck."

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for

Scott Burnside

ESPN Senior Writer