Observers who want Alex Ovechkin to assert himself some more should probably make note of his work in Tuesday’s combative game between the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers.
The 27-year-old star scored a goal and an assist tonight, but it was his battle with Kris Versteeg that really stood out. Things got started when Ovechkin delivered this hit, which left the 26-year-old winger banged up:
Versteeg retaliated with a crosscheck on Ovi later in the game, prompting the two to drop the gloves:
This represents just the fourth NHL fight for Ovechkin (if you include one in the 2006-07 preseason), according to Hockey Fights. His most recent bit of fisticuffs came against Brandon Dubinsky on Dec. 12, 2010.
Ovechkin ended up getting the last laugh, as the Capitals won 6-5 in overtime.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger