The incident in question occurred after New York center Artem Anisimov did the ol’ “point gun and shoot” celebration at the expense of the Lightning:
You can see Downie leave the Tampa Bay bench at the 4:15 mark. Even though he jumps on the ice with the apparent intention of going after Anisimov, it’s been determined Downie was going for a (legal) line change.
“It’s what I expected,” Downie said after he and Bolts GM Steve Yzerman spoke with Shanahan. “It is what it is. You’ve got to respect the decision. It’s not my call but I expect what he did and what he said.”
Downie didn’t say how much the fine was, but the maximum allowable is $2,500.
It should be noted this ruling is in lockstep with ex-referee Kerry Fraser’s explanation (courtesy TSN):
Tampa was entitled to have five players on the ice with Brett Connolly clearly at the players bench and his substitute, Steve Downie slow in placing his skate blades on the ice with the scoring of Anisimov’s goal. When play stopped with the scoring of the goal Tampa was likewise entitled to place 5 players on the ice.
There is certainly some onus on Steve Downie and should not absolve him from getting involved in an altercation that was in progress when he finally bolted from his replacement position sitting on top of the boards. As such, I believe that Brendan Shanahan is justified in invoking supplementary discipline to fine Steve Downie for becoming involved in the altercation and receiving a minor penalty on the play. I see it as a minor offense and certainly not a 10-game suspension.
Downie received a two-minute roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions.
Capitals defeat Blue Jackets in clash of Metropolitan Division powers
WASHINGTON (AP) T.J. Oshie scored the shootout winner as the Washington Capitals overcame a stellar performance from Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to beat the Blue Jackets 2-1 Thursday night.
Despite 44 saves from Bobrovsky, the Capitals reached 104 points and extended their lead atop the Metropolitan Division and NHL standings. Oshie engendered memories of his Sochi Olympic shootout performance by again beating Bobrovsky, the goalie he scored on four times in six chances that day.
Dmitry Orlov finally cracked Bobrovsky early in the third period on Washington’s 35th shot of the game. Orlov’s goal tied the score after Seth Jones beat Braden Holtby on a wild scramble early in the third for his first goal since Feb. 7.
Holtby had 29 saves in regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout to pick up his 38th victory of the season, one shy of Bobrovsky for the league lead.
A showdown between two of the top three teams in the league jockeying for position atop the Metropolitan Division lacked a playoff feel. But the matchup of two likely Vezina Trophy finalists lived up to that billing as Bobrovsky and Holtby went back and forth with big saves.
Bobrovsky entered the night first in wins, goals-against average and save percentage with Holtby second, second and third in those categories. The 2013 Vezina winner could also be an MVP contender this season given his value to Columbus’ third playoff berth in franchise history.
“When he’s in his game it’s very hard to score on him,” said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who had eight shots stopped by one of his Russian national teammates. “He likes the big moments, he likes pressure. His worth ethic is unbelievable. … In my opinion he’s one of the best goalies in the league right now.”
Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby clash
The National Hockey League has announced it will make a “special announcement” at the LeSports Center in Beijing, China next Thursday.
In January, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly made it clear the NHL has interest in playing games in China — likely starting out with pre-season games before potentially adding in some regular season contests in the future, as well.
Just after the league made its announcement on Thursday, the L.A. Kings tweeted out that they will participate in next week’s event, along with the Vancouver Canucks.
But they responded with three unanswered goals, including this beauty from Sean Couturier.
Philadelphia took over for a 3-1 victory, with Mason making 24 saves on 25 shots, as Minnesota’s struggles continue. The Wild still sit second in the Central Division but have only two wins in their last 10 games and were unable to secure a playoff spot Thursday.