The Boston Bruins put up a four-spot on the Washington Capitals in the first period, chasing Braden Holtby. With the result never in doubt during the game’s final 40 minutes, the two teams turned to hitting, wrestling, and score-settling to keep things interesting.
Late in the third period, Tom Wilson and David Pastrnak, the NHL’s leading goalscorer, exchanged hits and punches at the Capitals bench. It started a mini line brawl.
By the end of it, players on both the Capitals and Bruins were angrily hugging and yelling at each other. Wilson and Pastrnak took their disagreement to the penalty box and continued their discussion until the Capitals forward was tossed from the game after receiving a 10-minute misconduct.
The whole melee seemed to have stemmed from a hit Pastrnak threw behind the Capitals net where the Bruins forward nailed Nick Jensen in the numbers.
Tom Wilson gets ejected late in the game pic.twitter.com/gFnTjLgpaz
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 24, 2019
Wilson also speared Pastrnak in the abdomen.
Tom Wilson goes for Pasta’s meatballs pic.twitter.com/mmOxgwUQ7N
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 24, 2019
Then the main event happened. With 6:34 remaining, Wilson made a B-line towards Brad Marchand. Instead, Pastrnak, who was in the area, intercepted Wilson and tried to cross-check him away.
Wilson then tried to go to the Capitals bench, as if nothing happened, but Pastrnak and Marchand were not done with #FirstLineTom. As an official tried to separate the players, Wilson fell on top of Pastrnak and threw several punches at the star forward as he laid defenseless on the ice – likely the reason why Tom was given a 10-minute misconduct.
Connor Clifton — feeling the Christmas spirit — plays peacemaker.
Tom Wilson & Radko Gudas: pic.twitter.com/FhiW2E1rqS
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 24, 2019
Both players were given a two-minute minor for roughing. Wilson was given a 10-minute misconduct while the Bruins served an extra minor for too many men on the ice.
“It reminded me a little of playoff hockey,” Pastrnak said after the game. “That’s what it takes to beat this team. We happy we got this big win.”
"It reminded me a little of playoff hockey. Sometimes these games are a part of it."
— NESN (@NESN) December 24, 2019
That wasn’t the only time Wilson was ornery during the game. Wilson injured Torey Krug with a shoulder to shoulder hit.
big Tom coming thru pic.twitter.com/9B95xXjWyK
— Washington ☃️ Capitals (@Capitals) December 24, 2019
Wilson also got in a shoving match with Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen near the Bruins crease.
trust us mate, you don't want any of that smoke pic.twitter.com/QD5w7T3Pmb
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 24, 2019
During the game’s final shift, the Capitals and Bruins basically just tried to run and hurt each other. NBC Sports Washington showed Alex Ovechkin screaming at the Bruins bench.
If these two teams meet in the postseason, this has the makings to be an incredible series.
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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