Islanders unhinged in loss to Lightning; Mathew Barzal fined $5K for cross-check to Jan Rutta’s face

mathew barzal jan rutta
Mathew Barzal fined (NBCSN)

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal was fined $5,000 Tuesday for cross-checking Jan Rutta of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup playoff semifinal series on Monday night.

The amount represents the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

Mathew Barzal cross-checks Rutta’s face

As time expired in the second period of Tampa Bay’s eventual 8-0 win, Barzal and Rutta began shoving near the Lightning bench before Barzal cross-checked Rutta in the face. Rutta remained face-down on the ice for several moments, and he did not return for the third period.

The officials assessed Barzal, New York’s top-line center, a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

“I’m disappointed because it wasn’t going well and you just sort of dug it a little deeper for the guys,” Trotz said of Barzal’s major penalty.

Barzal, 24, has tallied six goals and six assists in 17 playoffs games this spring. In 55 regular-season appearances, he scored 17 goals and added 28 assists to lead the team in points (45).

In total, the Islanders took 57 minutes in penalties including six minors. The unhinged play led to three power play goals for the Lightning.

The Islanders face elimination entering Wednesday’s Game 6 down 3-2 to the defending Cup champions.

–Field Level Media