Two former Capitals were involved in a major incident on Saturday. Basically, Chandler Stephenson tried to forcibly re-arrange Garnet Hathaway’s face.
Stephenson, a former Capitals draft pick and Stanley Cup champion, delivered a high cross-check to the former Capitals forward and Nic Dowd BFF way after a whistle had blown. The result of the play saw Stephenson handed a five-minute major penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct, ejecting him from the game.
Chandler Stephenson was given a five-minute major and a misconduct for this cross-check on Garnet Hathaway pic.twitter.com/iGxZPLDC5i
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) November 18, 2023
At first glance it appears Stephenson nailed Hathaway right in the mouth with his raised stick but upon further viewing, the real damage done to Hathaway came when he spins around in pain and slams his face into the Flyers’ goal frame. Hathaway would depart right to the Philadelphia locker room but would return to the game soon after.
The on-ice officials reviewed the cross-check to determine if it was bad enough to require a major penalty as punishment and they eventually reached that conclusion. Stephenson was forced out of the game after skating just 8:32 of ice time which is over 10 minutes fewer than his per game average.
Philadelphia would go on to win 4-3 in overtime with a Sean Couturier goal.
Stephenson and Hathaway did cross paths on the Capitals for a short time before Stephenson was dealt to Vegas part way through the 2019-20 season.
Given that Stephenson was handed a game misconduct and not a match penalty for his foul, the league will not automatically review it for supplementary discipline purposes. That does not mean that he cannot still be suspended though after further review from the Department of Player Safety.
Stephensen has been suspended before, sitting three games in the spring of 2021 for elbowing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot.
Screenshot: NBC Sports Philadelphia
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