The incident occurred midway through the second period of Washington’s 5-3 win Wednesday night. Ovechkin, reacting to a hit thrown by Neil, utilized his stick in less-than-gentlemanly fashion and appeared to catch Neil in an uncomfortable place (no, not the back of a Volkswagen.)
Neil was given a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct (diving) penalty on the play.
“Almost like a pitchfork right in the gut, so it’s frustrating (there was) no call on the play and I ended up getting the penalty for it,” Neil said afterwards. “We make mistakes out there, too. And so do the refs.”
Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.