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Penguins - Capitals nastiness boils over in Letang - Oshie fight

Following two controversial Tom Wilson hits and a controversial three-game suspension, it was fair to wonder if tensions might boil over between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4.

Both teams were wise to generally keep their emotions in check, too, as special teams factored into three of the four goals in Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win (the Penguins went 2-for-4 while the Capitals went 1-for-3). Now, you can discount Jake Guentzel’s second goal of Game 4 since it was an empty-netter on the power play, but either way ... these teams showed that they can make opponents pay for going to the penalty box. At least, without taking an opposing player with them.
[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

The latter situation emerged with a bit less than a minute remaining in Game 4. After some tense exchanges, Kris Letang and T.J. Oshie engaged in an angry-looking fight. It didn’t last very long, but it was quite the spectacle, as you won’t see many fights during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Looking at the Hockey Fights listings for Letang and Oshie provides some interesting additional context for this bout, which you can witness in the video above this post’s headline.

To little surprise, neither high-skill player is all that likely to drop the gloves. Still, they both have shown a willingness to fight on occasion, including during postseason play. Oshie fought Brayden Schenn during the 2016 postseason, while Letang is credited with three postseason bouts before this tiff, although the last one came the postseason of 2011-12.

With the series now tied 2-2, it’s likely that we’ll see some testy moments now that things boil down to a best-of-three. You can bet that Oshie and Letang will work - and fight? - hard to try to get the last laugh once it’s over.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.