Benn earned a $5,000 fine, the maximum allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, for high-sticking Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane in the Stars’ 4-2 win last night. The incident in question took place halfway through the second period. There was a scramble for the puck after a Jake Oettinger save, and Mangiapane, who was behind the net, was being held in place by Stars defenseman Ryan Suter. Benn appeared to poke Mangiapane’s face with his stick through the net, and although the incident was a bit difficult to see in the initial broadcast it was clear enough for the Department of Player Safety to fine Benn.
As for Kuznetsov, his fine is also for high sticking, with his victim being Panthers forward Noel Acciari. In his incident, which took place late in the first period, Kuznetsov and Acciari were engaged with one another in a typical after-whistle scrum, and in the incident, Kuznetsov raised his stick and hit the face of Acciari, an action that necessitates a fine.
In both of these instances, the player who was the victim of the infraction was not injured or subject to any major issues as a result of the fined actions. The actions that led to these fines were largely unnecessary and avoidable, so it’s likely that these punishments were handed down as a means of getting two star players to be more mindful of their after-whistle conduct.