DETROIT >> Some of the focus after the Wings’ Game 6 loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting Monday was the hit Niklas Kronwall delivered on Nikita Kucherov.
Late in the second period, Kronwall dealt his crushing blow as Kucherov was trying to leave the Lightning’s zone.
Kucherov went straight to the Tampa Bay locker room.
“I mean, it’s intense game, and those things happen,” Kucherov said. “It’s just hits. It’s just a part of the game.
“Not really,” Kucherov added when asked if he had seen the replay. “I saw it I think once, but I couldn’t see the whole thing.”
There was no penalty called on the play.
“It’s a hit,” Kucherov said. “He made a hit. I’m not going to cry now. It’s a part of the game. That’s why we play here.
Kucherov, who said he was fine after the hit, assisted on the first three goals the Lighting scored.
“I haven’t seen it in replay so I really can’t say too much about it,” Kronwall said. “I thought it was a clean hit at the time.”
When asked if the momentum forced him off his skates Kronwall said, “Yeah, usually when you go, the impact itself carries you up.”
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper also said he didn’t see the play.
“It was on that part of the ice that I didn’t see,” Cooper said. “The refs didn’t call a penalty so it must have been OK.”
Henrik Zetterberg thinks it was a clean check.
“When I saw it, it was a clean, hard hit,” Zetterberg said. “He had a good timing there, Kronner, and I don’t think their player saw him.”
The hit was delivered with the Wings trailing 3-1.
“For sure,” Tomas Tatar said when asked if the hit gave the Wings a lift. “He hit Kucherov, one of their good players. Playoffs are a tight game, lots of hits. One of these hits will get the team going, get the building going. We felt like we were on the horse. We let them score the goal 4-2 and kind of took us down.”