When New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich scored an empty-net goal with 35 seconds left to give the Rags’ a 5-2 lead, Tom Wilson decided the time was ripe to settle scores.
The Capitals’ enforcer, who has fought 69 career times, first threw punches at Ryan Lindgren, who had tried to knock Alex Ovechkin silly 11 days prior, as Rangers gave each other fist-bumps at the bench to celebrate the goal. Once Wilson was separated by an official, he looked to chat with Brendan Smith, who cross-checked TJ Oshie from behind in the kidneys minutes before. Once those two were pushed away from each other, Wilson passionately skated backward in a half semi-circle to engage Lindgren again.
“Here’s where he’s losing it,” Rangers’ play-by-play man Sam Rosen commented. “This is where Tom Wilson goes across the line. He has to be careful here.”
Unwilling to calm down, Wilson was tossed from the game, earning 12 penalty minutes total: a two-minute misconduct penalty and 10-minute misconduct for his confrontation with Lindgren.
Here’s another look at the altercation from Sportsnet that begins earlier in the sequence.
Tom Wilson was big mad. 😬 pic.twitter.com/01LSGMtCDU
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 31, 2021
One of the silliest aspects of the fracas was that while Wilson was being held back by an official and near New York’s bench, several Rangers players tried to grab, shove, and engage with him including goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.
Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev grabbed at Tom Wilson from the bench wanting a piece 😂
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 31, 2021
NBC Sports Washington’s Joe Beninati remarked during the telecast that Georgiev’s “face mask would take a beating” if the two would have fought.
Predictably, after the incident, Wilson trended on Twitter as many Rangers’ fans had strong opinions about the winger.
you love to see it pic.twitter.com/dR4Web6FhN
— b (@nhlburakovsky) March 31, 2021
Here’s a general sampling of the comments on Twitter from the Rangers side.
Capitals fans, including RMNB’s Chris Cerullo, responded back in kind.
Whenever Tom Wilson is trending just make sure to tweet this out. pic.twitter.com/tS2d4RLGbK
— Chris Cerullo (@CJC_95) March 31, 2021
The Capitals lost four of six games to the Rangers during the regular season. The Rangers are the only team in the East Division they have a losing record against so far this season. Lucky for Washington, they likely won’t match up against each other in the playoffs as the Rangers currently sit five points out of the fourth and final playoff spot. They’ve played three more games than fourth-place Boston.
But if the Rangers can go on a big winning streak and somehow squeak into the postseason, a first-round series between them and the Capitals seems certain to have fireworks.
Ryan Lindgren gives zero fucks about Alex Ovechkin (?) talking shit. pic.twitter.com/p7VRwRW3UD
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 31, 2021
Screenshot courtesy of MSG Network
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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