For Canes forward Ryan Bayda, it was a first. And, he hopes, the last.
Bayda received a match penalty for deliberate intent to injure late in Game 2 in Pittsburgh after cross-checking the Pens' Kris Letang in the chin. Bayda faced a suspension, but after a review by the NHL, he was fined $2,500 but not suspended and will play Game 3 tonight.
Bayda said today that he did not hear a whistle for an icing and finished his check. He said Letang came back at him and he put his stick back up.
"I don't know if I got him in the head or what," Bayda said. "It was kind of a melee from there."
Bayda said the frustration of losing Game 2 and falling behind 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals likely figured into the incient with Letang.
"It showed we were a little PO'ed and not happy with the way the outcome of the game was going," he said.
But Bayda said the incident was out of character for him. Although feisty on the ice and a physical player, he's not the type who blindsides opponents or goes head-hunting.
"Plays like that, scrums like that after the whistle happen all the time," he said. "There's lot of things that go on.
"It's the first (match penalty) I've had. It's not my character to try to cross-check somebody in the face and do that."
Bayda said he thought the fine, in lieu of a suspension was appropriate. Told that it would take a number of the Ryan Bayda "Rhino" subs at Harris Teeter to cover the fine, Bayda smiled.
"A LOT of Rhino subs," he said.