The nastiness in the Caps-Pens series boiled over late in the third period.
After Jake Guentzel scored an empty-net goal to put the Penguins up 3-1, TJ Oshie and Kris Letang dropped the gloves and fought well behind the play.
The incident began when Oshie leaped and landed a high hit on Letang.
The two competitors then un-calmly discussed their differences before tossing their mitts and throwing wild haymakers.
Both players almost landed knockout punches. Oshie’s big swing missed Letang, but knocked both players off balance and onto the ice.
It was there that Oshie landed five consecutive punches before Letang landed a sneaky punch as officials separated the combatants.
Afterwards, the two players continued jawing at each other before being sent off the ice.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Sam Werner, Letang called Game Four “emotional” and didn’t think Oshie was going for a headshot.
“Obviously they’re desperate, he was trying to forecheck on me,” Letang said. “Yeah, it was a high hit, but at the end of the day, I don’t think he went with his elbow to knock me out. It was just an emotional game.”
Oshie also shared his thoughts on the play.
“It was a forecheck,” Oshie said via ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “I saw a chance to hit him. He wasn’t happy with it. He stuck up for himself which I can respect. I don’t think either of us got a good grab of each other, but yeah, that’s what happened there.”
Letang has been one of the most vocal critics of Tom Wilson during the series.
After Wilson injured Brian Dumoulin with a hit, Letang criticized the forward’s game.
“We all know who he is and what he does on the ice,” Letang said to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Like, we expect that.”
During Game Three, Letang screamed at Tom Wilson after Wilson landed an illegal check to the head of Zach Aston-Reese.
“I get the physical game. I get the physical play,” Letang explained after the game. “I’ve been on the wrong side of it. At the end of the day, I respect what kind of game he plays. But you don’t laugh at somebody getting hurt. You just … you don’t do that.”
Last year, Letang was suspended one game for a head shot on Marcus Johansson.
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