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Matt Calvert ejected for butt-ending Alex Ovechkin

New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 6: Matt Calvert #11 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates after the puck during the game against the New York Islanders on October 6, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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There was some chaos in first period of Tuesday’s Capitals-Blue Jackets game in Columbus.

First, the Blue Jackets jumped all over the Capitals with four goals in the opening frame, including one from one of their recent trade deadline acquisitions, veteran center Mark Letestu.

That offensive outburst led to Capitals goalie Braden Holtby being pulled for the start of the second period.

But it wasn’t just the scoreboard that had some fireworks. As the first period came to a close there was an altercation behind the Columbus net that resulted in Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert being given a match penalty for butt-ending Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin right in the face.

Here is a look.

If you are wondering about potential supplemental discipline it is probably worth pointing out that since the NHL’s Department of Player Safety was formed prior to the start of the 2011-12 season no player has ever actually been suspended for butt-ending a player.

Six have been fined for it.

When the two teams came back out for the start of the second period the cameras caught Ovechkin and Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella having a pretty animated conversation.

Ovechkin was the lone bright spot for the Capitals in the first period, scoring his league-leading 39th goal. That goal also brought him one closer to 600 for his career, giving him 597 as of this posting.

It has been an interesting night in Columbus to say the least.


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.