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Tkachuk Fined For Nasty Cross-Check On Hathaway

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It’s clear at this point that the Florida Panthers are trying to get under the skin of the Boston Bruins in their first round playoff series, and now they are beginning to literally pay the price. Matthew Tkachuk was fined $5000 by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday morning for cross-checking Garnet Hathaway in the ribs after the first period had already expired in Boston’s 6-2 win over the Panthers in Game 4 at FLA Live Arena.

Tkachuk was whistled for cross-checking by the officals after the incident, and Hathaway was down on the ice for long moments before skating off for intermission and not missing a beat in the final two periods of the important victory.

“It was a crosscheck to the back,” said Hathaway matter-of-factly, though it probably qualifies as a cross-check to the side of the back rather than the shaft of the stick right into the back. “Most guys that play don’t have a lot of padding back there. It’s a vulnerable spot so I’ll be adding some padding back there to my gear. It’s just part of the game, I guess.

“Guys stick together in this room. It was like that when I got here and it’s just continued to grow.”

Tkachuk was far from done, of course, and got off easy on Monday after he was also bounced from the game with a 10-minute misconduct late in the third period after similarly going after Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark, of course, wasn’t having it and went right back after Tkachuk throwing down his glove and blocker, tipping back his mask and getting ready to throw down with the Florida Panthers forward. One shudders to think how many games that the NHL would have suspended Brad Marchand if he was running around doing the same things as an out-of-control Tkachuk in this playoff series.

It’s clear at this point that the Florida Panthers are going after the Boston Bruins and trying to get under their skin in the series, but it’s not working as they’re shooting themselves in the foot down 3-to-1 in the first round playoff series with Game 5 in Boston on Wednesday with the B’s looking at a chance to close out the series.

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