Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk has been fined the maximum allowable amount of $5,000 under the Collective Bargaining Agreement for a cross-checking incident involving Boston Bruins forward Garnet Hathaway, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at the end of the first period during yesterday’s Game 4 when Tkachuk was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking Hathaway. Given the strength of the check and its placement in a sensitive area on the side of Hathaway’s torso, some felt the play warranted a suspension. Hathaway returned to the game but stayed on the ice in pain after the incident.
It wasn’t the only penalty Tkachuk racked up in what was a physical game. He added another minor penalty for slashing midway through the third period before he was given a 10-minute misconduct for his actions in a scrum with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
It’s a lucky break for the Panthers, who need everything on their side in Game 5 to stave off another early playoff exit. They’ll need Tkachuk’s services to have any hope of doing so, as his physicality and two-way dominance almost single-handedly dragged Florida to a playoff spot this season.
He leads Florida in scoring during the series, registering two goals and three assists in four games.