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With the Washington Capitals having lost captain Alex Ovechkin after one shift, with two forwards and a defenseman already out of the lineup, the team would require grit and grind from the rest of the lineup to find a way to beat the New York Rangers.
However, the second period of play would see a scramble in front of Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek turn into a multi-player pile as the two teams saw tempers flare.
With the Caps down 3-2 having allowed three consecutive goals from the Blueshirts, the Rangers contained the puck in the offensive zone. After Vanecek made a save on a Rangers shot.
This is the best angle to see the kick by Buchnevich that Wilson was reacting to. Not saying it was on purpose or with malice intent, but he clearly kicks at Vanecek. For some reason no one is showing this angle. pic.twitter.com/4SVCwWiNhv
— Drew Reynolds (@dreynoldsawl) May 4, 2021
The crease became crowded as players began to pile on one another. The Capitals’ Tom Wilson found himself in the middle of it, and delivered a punch to Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich, which resulted in retaliation from multiple New York skaters.
Things are getting heated between the Capitals and Rangers👀 pic.twitter.com/5z1uACdVXi
— 12oz Sports (@12ozSports) May 4, 2021
The penalty list for the scrum was lengthy:
Tom Wilson – 10 min Game Misconduct, 2 PIM for Roughing, 2 PIM for Roughing
Brenden Dillon – 2 PIM for Roughing
Artemi Panarin – 2 PIM for Roughing
Pavel Buchnevich – 2 PIM for Roughing
As one might expect, the reaction to Wilson’s involvement in the scrum drew the ire on social media:
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) May 4, 2021
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 4, 2021
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 4, 2021
The Capitals ended the night in a decisive 6-3 victory, with Wilson adding an empty-net goal to seal the win for the Caps.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) May 4, 2021
Capitals Head Coach Peter Laviolette commented on the dustup after the game, saying:
“I thought it was just a scrum, like physical play. There was something going on, originally with the goalie and the jamming at the goalie and we had a bunch of players jump in there. Happens a lot.”
By Michael Fleetwood