The Capitals escaped Columbus with a huge sassy win, but their captain could be in some hot water.
1:21 into the third period, Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin landed a big hit on Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski. As Seth Jones reversed the puck to Werenski, a hard-charging Ovechkin crushed the 19-year-old in the corner.
Werenski would leave the game and not return.
The hit at first looked pedestrian.
Upon replay, Ovechkin leaps and ramps up into Werenski, catching the defender in the right shoulder. Werenski’s head then bounces off the glass.
Werenski dropped to the ice, before getting up seconds later and skating to the bench slowly. In the tunnel, Werenski fell to one knee.
Ovechkin was not penalized on the play. Werenski has played in every game for Columbus this season, posting 11 goals and 47 points.
According to The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will review the hit.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) April 3, 2017
Ovechkin has been suspended three times during his career for illegal hits.
“That’s a part of the life of a defenseman,” Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella said to The Columbus Dispatch after the game. “You can’t hold up in the league, and the bodychecking is part of it. Were they targeting him? I don’t know. You have to ask them. I don’t look at that. That’s a part of the game. And as far as his health, I have not talked to the trainers yet.”
The Capitals will have a day off Monday before returning back to the ice Tuesday in Toronto.
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