ANAHEIM, Calif. - Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski didn't think his high hit on Brent Seabrok in the second period Wednesday night was out of line.
"What happened was my face hit his face because my nose got all cut up from my visor and all that stuff," Wisniewski said following Anaheim’s 4-2 win at the Honda Center. "He's one of my real good buddies. That's not what at all what I was (doing). I just pinched down from the blue line. I thought he had the puck so I finished my check."
The Hawks were livid Wisniewski didn't receive more than a minor penalty for charging from referees Paul Devorski and Ian Walsh. Seabrook left the game and didn't return.
Wisniewski didn't think the NHL would suspend him.
"I wouldn't think so," he said. "I hope not. I didn't do anything wrong. The result of what happened isn't good because of what happened with him. But there wasn't anything wrong that I did."
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle defended Wisniewski.
"He was probably the first star in our mind, as far as involvement in the game," Carlyle said. "It was probably the best game he's played as a Duck."
The play occurred at 2:22 of the second period when Wisniewski skated at Seabrook, who didn't have the puck, at full speed from the top of the left circle, jumped and caught Seabrook in the face with his hands, arms and elbows.
Seabrook's head snapped back into the glass and he appeared unconscious on his skates before dropping to the ice.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was as angry as he has been in two seasons as Hawks coach with Devorski and Walsh for not calling a major penalty.
Quenneville took exception when asked about the "questionable" hit.
"Questionable?" Quenneville fumed. "There are certain hits in the game that are tolerable if you have the puck. But if you hit a guy without the puck you can kill a guy.
"It's the most dangerous hit in the history of the game and (Wisniewski) tried to hurt him. If that's not intent...that's as bad a hit as you can ever have in the game."
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was just as angry about losing Seabrook just three days after Alex Ovechkin ended Brian Campbell's regular season with a hit from behind into the boards, causing a broken collarbone and fractured rib.
"A lot of guys in this locker room know the guy that did it and it becomes pretty personal when something like that happens," Toews said of Wisniewski. "He wasn't skating in from the blue line for any other reason than to run him over and take a liberty on Seabs."
Duncan Keith jumped in and fought Wisniewski after the cheap shot on his defense partner. Keith was the only Hawk to even touch Ovechkin after Sunday's hit on Campbell.
“Maybe start doing it back, I guess start hitting from behind a little bit and see how it goes,” Keith said.
Wisniewski claimed he was not repaying Seabrook for a hit on Ducks star Corey Perry seconds earlier.
Nick Boynton got some retribution late after the game was decided when he fought Wisniewski. Boynton said the game was too tight before then to go looking for payback.
“Unfortunately the game, it was close for a little too long there,” Boynton said. “When it’s 4-2 then something should be done. It’s a dirty hit, there’s no question about it. The Ovechkin hit wasn’t questionable and that one wasn’t questionable. That’s up to the league to take care of that, but they’re definitely dirty plays and there’s no need for it in the game.”
The Hawks felt referees Devorski and Walsh missed another call that led to a goal by Anaheim's Saku Koivu with 5:36 to play that snapped a 2-2 tie.
Brent Sopel was ready to bat the puck out of the air in the slot when Perry shoved to the ice from behind. The puck wound up with Koive in front for the goal.
"I was jumping for the puck, he pushed me down and I turn around and it's in the net," Sopel said. "I'm leaving my feet to get the puck. You can't push somebody. You've got to blow it down at least, call a 4-on-4 or something. You just can't let it go in the slot like that."