Well, it’s clear the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals aren’t very fond of each other.
Fighting for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, tempers boiled over between the Blue Jackets and Capitals midway through the third period of Sunday’s game. Things really escalated during a scrum when Josh Anderson decided to give Alex Ovechkin a few jabs to the face.
Chaos suddenly ensued, with gloves, sticks and helmets littering the ice when it was over.
Ovechkin found himself at the bottom of a pile along the boards, wrapped in a headlock with a member of the Blue Jackets while his teammate Tom Wilson looked around for someone to pair up with before order was eventually restored.
The Capitals, thanks to a trio of second-period goals, left Columbus with a 3-2 victory, strengthening their lead atop the division. They’re now five points up on Pittsburgh and six points up on Columbus. All three teams have four games remaining on their respective schedules.
The Blue Jackets made things interesting in the third period with goals from Jack Johnson and Kyle Quincey, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.
Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Zach Werenski, who was on the receiving end of some big hits today, didn’t play a single shift in the final 18 minutes.
There is now concern for a possible injury to San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton.
The Sharks forward left Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks after being involved in a collision along the boards with Michael Chaput during the first period.
Thornton went immediately to the dressing room, though he struggled just to get off the ice, clearly favoring his left leg.
The Sharks have stated that Thornton’s return to this game is questionable.
With only two wins in their last 10 games, the Sharks have fallen to third in the Pacific Division. They had opened up a 2-0 lead on the Canucks after one period.
Check back to PHT for more updates.
Dalton Prout is facing further discipline for his retaliatory hit on Radko Gudas during Saturday’s game between the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Sunday announced that Prout has a hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The incident occurred when Gudas hit a Devils player at the blue line, leading to Prout coming in a few seconds later and delivering an open-ice hit well away from the puck on Gudas. A large melee ensued, including a fight between Wayne Simmonds and Prout.
In addition to his fighting major, Prout was given a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct.
Gudas briefly returned to the game but left after the second period with an upper-body injury.
Last March, Prout was suspended one game for a sucker punch on Nikita Kucherov.
The Canucks are bringing Jayson Megna back for next season.
The Canucks on Sunday announced a one-year, one-way contract extension for the 27-year-old forward, who is in his first season in Vancouver. In 53 games, Megna has four goals and eight points. The new contract is worth $675,000.
“Jayson is a strong skater who has added depth to our forward group,” said general manager Jim Benning in a statement. “We value his character and professionalism and are pleased to re-sign him for another year.”
With the Canucks going through a massive transition phase, bringing in younger players as the original core group continues to age, Megna has become an interesting case study in Vancouver.
Despite underwhelming production, Megna has been a consistent fixture in Willie Desjardins’ lineup, averaging 12:25 of ice time per game and being used in special teams situations, much to the displeasure of local fans. In almost 54 total minutes of power play time throughout the season, Megna has just a single power play point.
Desjardins’ use of Megna has been a constant talking point for those that take issue with the coach’s often curious, if not contentious, deployment decisions.
There’s been a long list of curious deployment calls, perfectly summed up by juxtaposing his tendency to give Jayson Megna all the ice time with his affection for benching Nikolay Goldobin, who is far younger with far more electricity.
The Canucks host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.
The New York Rangers have already punched their ticket to the playoffs, while the Philadelphia Flyers remain, at least for now, mathematically alive in the Eastern Conference thanks to a four-game winning streak.
The two Metropolitan Division foes clash Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET) in New York. You can catch the game on NBCSN or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
NHL on NBCSN: Rangers try to put a stop to Flyers’ winning streak
Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth released from hospital
Rangers make changes after loss in Anaheim