Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin knocked out Carolina Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov with a punch to the face during a fight in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. Svechnikov appeared to provoke Ovechkin in the first period, and the two exchanged words before dropping the gloves. Svechnikov fell to the ice and had a hard time getting up all while Ovi was fine. The rookie player remained sprawled out for a spell before being escorted off by his team's trainers. Svechnikov did not return to the game. Washington has a 2-1 series lead. "I'm not a big fighter".
Ovechkin addressed the fight after the game was over, saying "I hope [Svechnikov] is okay". In any other sport, you can jaw all you want and nothing is going to happen. "We just have to forget about it and move forward", he added.
Ovechkin obviously rarely fights, with his last brawl coming in December of 2010. Monday's bout was just the fourth fight of his career, and the first in eight years. He asked me to fight and I said, 'let's go, yeah.' I hope he's ok.
While the opportunity to get under the skin of one of Washington's top players and take him out of the game for five minutes is intriguing, the risk just isn't worth it. Ovechkin may only have four National Hockey League fights to his name - the last coming almost a decade ago against Brandon Dubinsky - but his experience at this level and 40-pound weight advantage shouldn't have been ignored by Svechnikov.
Carolina did not have an update on Svechnikov after the game. "He has a special bond with our group, with me too", Brind'Amour said.
Ovi hip checks a guy and goes after Dubinsky. "He's played 90 games, he never fought in his life, I'm pretty sure Ovie knew that". So that stuff bothers me.
Carolina's Andrei Svechnikov kept dogging Ovechkin, trying to bait him into a fight during the first period.