The Washington Capitals were desperate to end their seven-game losing streak. That fact was no more evident in the final seconds of the third period against the Calgary Flames.
As the buzzer hit zero, Nicklas Backstrom sent Flames superstar Johnny Gaudreau flying into the end boards with a shoulder to the chest.
The hit sent a competitive game overboard. The two teams intertwined in a violent, angry hug.
“There was a lot of emotion on both sides,” Tom Wilson said postgame. “Two good teams that want to win. We were playing hard right to the end there. It was loud. We were doing whatever it took to get the job done. That includes defending each other and sticking together at the end.”
Braden Holtby even got involved!
Here’s how the melee began.
As Braden Holtby saw Rasmus Andersson get involved in the brawl, the Capitals goaltender grabbed on to the defenseman’s jersey. The Flames had six players on the ice so the Holtbeast wanted to make sure none of his teammates got jumped or double-teamed.
Orpik, who cross-checked Matthew Tkachuk at the buzzer, then dropped his gloves with the Flames pest. The two players exchanged several big punches.
Tkachuk would jaw Orpik afterward, but the Capitals defenseman wasn’t having any of it. Shoo fly.
Meanwhile, John Carlson would scrap with Elias Lindholm.
Tom Wilson would violently tackle Rasmus Andersson to the ice. The Capitals enforcer unleash several punches at the Flames defenseman on the ice.
Braden would continue his valuable interaction in the brawl.
Oh no, Tkachuk is back and now he’s messing with Braden.
Out of all of this, Orpik and Tkachuk were given five minute majors for fighting. Backstrom got a two minute minor for interference.
“That’s just guys sticking together,” Capitals head coach Todd Reirden said of the postgame brawl.
“It was a fun game,” Wilson added. “It was physical. They’re a good team. We stayed together through some ups and downs throughout the game and we really came together towards the end there.
“Those are the most fun when you can pull together as a group and go out with some old school way there,” Wilson continued. “I think Holts was almost getting into it. Old school at the All-Star Game. Old school here. That was fun. Good to be together with the boys there.”
Live shot of Tkachuk’s face. pic.twitter.com/yy8zCZmx8U
— Timothy Jimothy Yoshie (@tjyoshie77) February 2, 2019
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