Panthers d-man Dmitry Kulikov served a four-game suspension for clipping — and injuring — Dallas forward Tyler Seguin last month, but that didn’t stop the Stars from exacting further revenge in their first meeting since the incident on Thursday night in Florida.
Dallas’ Curtis McKenzie challenged Kulikov midway through the first period:
(GIF courtesy Boston.com’s Stephanie Vail)
The Stars were asked about potential retribution prior to the game, per the Dallas Morning-News:
Vern Fiddler said after the last game, “I think it’s a gutless play for their D to do that. (Seguin)’s released the puck, and comes across and takes his knee out. There’s no room in the game, and it’s not a good play. It’s a gutless play on his part, and we’ll have to deal with that at a later time.”
However, the league suspended Kulikov four games for the hit, and Fiddler said on Thursday morning the Stars have to be focused on the game.
“The league took care of it, and I’m glad they took care of it, because it takes it out of our hands,” Fiddler said. “We want to play a fair game, that’s the way we play.”
Ruff said he too expects his team to focus on play.
“I’m not even going to talk about that situation,” Ruff said. “To me, it’s behind us, the league dealt with it. Both teams are desperate to win a hockey game, that has to be our focus. The biggest damage we can now is on the scoresheet.”
Kulikov said he wasn’t sure if anything would happen, but would be prepared to answer the bell if need be.
“I’m not really thinking about it, but whatever happens, happens,” he explained. “We’re not going to back off and let them retaliate and do nothing.
“If something happens, we’ll deal with it.”