Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin picked up a major penalty and game misconduct – and now a $5000 fine – for cross-checking Washington’s T.J. Oshie.

Larkin caught Oshie with a cross-check to the face with 7:21 remaining in the first period, with the Wings leading 1-0.  As Oshie moved the puck up the boards and out of the defensive zone, Larkin ignored the puck and played the man, delivering a two-hander up high.

The Detroit forward was called for a major penalty and ejected from the game. The play was reviewed by the officials, who confirmed the major.  Oshie was cut on the play but did remain in the game.



Based on Larkin’s reaction, it looks like the play may have been unintentional; Larkin’s stick may have been elevated by Oshie’s left arm, turning a less-frequently-called body crosscheck into one to the head.

Cross-checking is defined in Rule 59 as “the action of using the shaft of the stick between the two hands to forcefully check an opponent.”  The severity of the penalty is up to the official based on the contact made.

A minor penalty, at the discretion of the Referee based on the severity of the contact, shall be imposed on a player who “cross checks” an opponent.

A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee based on the severity of the contact, shall be imposed on a player who “cross checks” an opponent. When a major penalty is assessed for cross-checking, an automatic game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on the offending player.

The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately
injured his opponent by cross-checking.


Refs Steve Kozari and Tom Chmielewski did take a second look, which is required under a recent change to the NHL rulebook under Rule 20.6.

Referees shall review all plays that result in the assessment of any Major Penalty (other than a Major Penalty for Fighting) for the purpose of confirming (or modifying) their original call on the ice.

The Referee shall have the following options after video review of his own call: (i) confirming his original Major Penalty call; (ii) reducing his original Major Penalty call to a lesser penalty; or (iii) rescinding the original Major Penalty altogether.

That decision is made entirely by the on-ice officials. The Situation Room does not take part in penalty reviews.

“[Larkin] has no history and obviously it wasn’t malicious,” said Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde. “We already lost him for an entire game basically, so hopefully we will have him available for Thursday.”

The penalty was Larkin’s first since a slashing call thet came against the Avalanche on January 16. He picked up more penalty minutes on Tuesday (15) than he had amassed all season coming into the game (12).


The NHL’s Department of Player Safety also weighed in on the play on Wednesday, hitting Larkin with a $5,000 fine for the cross-check.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has levied a handful of fines in 2023, but has not handed out a suspension since December.  61 days and counting…


Detroit went on to defeat the Capitals 3-1.  Officials for the game were referees Steve Kozari (#40) and Tom Chmielewski (#18) with linesmen Brad Kovachik (#71) and C.J. Murray (#68).