Kunitz avoids suspension

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- The NHL has opted not to suspend Penguins forward Chris Kunitz for an apparent cross-check on Washington goalie Simeon Varlamov on Monday.

So will he face some Capital punishment?

"If the league doesn't suspend him, I don't know what will happen," Caps sniper Alex Ovechkin said yesterday. "It's a cheap shot. It's dirty. It's all about being fair.

"Can you imagine if he gave (Varlamov) an injury? What are we going to do."

Kunitz, who left the Pens dressing room before the media was allowed in yesterday, hit Varlamov in the neck area late in his team's 4-3 loss in Washington.

The league reviewed the tape but opted not to suspend Kunitz, who has scored just once in his past 18 games. Instead, the league slapped Sidney Crosby's linemate with an undisclosed fine.

"He was going to the net, trying to create a loose puck and trying to jam home a rebound," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "He had no intention of doing anything else."

Sticky stick

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury smiled nervously when he was asked if he would be surprised to find that Ovechkin was using an illegal stick.

"No," Fleury said before being pressed. "I haven't taken a look at it, but the puck sometimes sticks to it pretty good, even if it's bouncing."

Power outage

The Penguins are expected to be without defenceman Kris Letang, a regular on the power play, tonight. Letang slumped off the ice on Monday after being crushed by Washington's Mike Green in the third period.

"He's much better than we initially thought," Bylsma said of the suspected shoulder injury. "It's a strength question right now."

Pick it up

Is Ovechkin getting some illegal help to create open space before firing at the opposition net?

Crosby is among a group of Penguins players who believe Ovechkin has been the beneficiary of some illegal picks.

"I know they try to do it and I think (the refs) have called it a few times," Crosby said. "We see a lot of video and that's obviously something they try to do and it's something the refs are aware of."

Bylsma said officials have been made aware of their concerns.


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