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Micheal Ferland upset with questionable match penalty after hitting Nic Dowd 'with my butt'

Micheal Ferland upset with questionable match penalty after hitting Nic Dowd 'with my butt'

WASHINGTON – You don’t exactly have to be an expert lip-reader to know that both Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour and forward Micheal Ferland were not fans of the match penalty Ferland received in the second period of Game 2.

Brind’Amour appeared to be expressing his disbelief quite passionately on the bench after the call was made while Ferland made a detour on his way to the locker room to express his displeasure to the referees.

“I'm tracking back and I'm thinking, 'I'm going to finish my hit on this guy,'” Ferland said. “I see him reaching for the puck. I could have finished with my shoulder but he was reaching, so I thought I'd let up and I hit him with my back, my butt. I didn't make any contact with his head with my shoulder or anything. I didn't leave my feet or nothing. That's what I was thinking. I don't agree with the call.”

Ferland was issued a five-minute major and match penalty for a high hit he delivered to Capitals forward Nic Dowd in the second period.

According to the NHL rule book, a match penalty is assessed on a player who “deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.”

The play was bad luck for Ferland as Dowd took a high-stick from Warren Foegele just as Ferland was about to hit him. That made Dowd’s head snap back as he was getting hit, and it appeared far worse in real-time than it actually was.

“Originally it did look bad,” Brind’Amour said. “When you first watch it live, you’re like ‘Ooh, that…’ but then you watch it and you see it. I get to sit and stare at it on the screen. He doesn’t hit his head. His body contact…the first point of contact for sure was not the head. So that’s frustrating. Lose a player, have to kill a five-minute penalty. That gets frustrating for sure.” “

With the Caps clinging to a 2-1 lead, this could have proven to be a major turning point in the game. The penalty ultimately did not cost Carolina other than losing Ferland as Washington failed to score on the resulting five-minute major.

While Carolina was able to overcome the penalty, that is not the end of the story for Ferland. At least not yet.

When a player receives a match penalty, that player is automatically suspended until the league commissioner rules on the issue. The play does not look worthy of a match penalty and certainly not worthy of a further suspension, but Ferland has to hope Gary Bettman agrees, or he could end up missing more time.

“I don't think it was a dirty hit,” Ferland said. “I don't think [I] deserve to be suspended. I take pride in my game of being a clean hitter. I never want to hurt anybody.”

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How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's best games with the Capitals

How to watch Evgeny Kuznetsov's best games with the Capitals

Over the past six seasons, forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been one of the biggest reasons for the Capitals' success.

Kuzy has been extremely durable for the Capitals, playing in at least 76 games over the past six seasons, excluding the 2019-20 shortened season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The winger has been one of Washington's best attacking players during that span, splitting time between both Washington's first and second lines. 

No. 92 has also found a knack for playing his best hockey on the sport's biggest stages. Kuznetsov netted arguably the most important goal in Capitals history, scoring the game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 2018 Eastern Conference semi-finals in overtime to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins, "exorcising the demons" for a franchise that previously could not get past the second round. We all know how that story ends, with the Capitals hoisting the Stanley Cup just over a month later.

On Sunday, NBC Sports Washington is airing four of Kuznetsov's best regular-season performances. At 9 a.m., tune in to watch the Caps 6-5 overtime thriller over the Tampa Bay Maple Leafs from January 3, 2017. In that contest, Kuzy totaled four points, netting one goal and notching three assists, including one that set up Alex Ovechkin's game-winning goal.

Following that, we travel back to October of 2018, when Kuznetsov turned in another four-point performance in a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in a rematch of the 2018 Stanley Cup. Kuzy started the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal and would tally three assists later on in the match as the Caps cruised to a dominating win.

At 2 p.m., the Caps 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings from February 11, 2019, will re-air. In this matchup, Kuznetsov finished with four points once again, this time finding the back of the net twice to go along with a pair of assists. To close out the day, tune in to see Kuznetsov net two goals in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes at 4:30 p.m.

A trip down memory lane that highlights Kuznetsov's greatest games is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

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When:

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Where:

Broadcast Schedule:

9:00 a.m.: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals from January 3, 2017

11:30 a.m.: Vegas Golden Knights @ Capitals from October 10, 2018

2:00 p.m.: Los Angeles Kings @ Capitals from February 11, 2019

4:30 p.m.: Arizona Coyotes @ Capitals from November 11, 2019 

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Ever Wonder: Why the Capitals' jerseys have three stars on them

Ever Wonder: Why the Capitals' jerseys have three stars on them

The current Washington Capitals jersey design — the red home sweaters with the white away ones — has been the defining look for the team throughout much of the Alex Ovechkin era.

During the summer of the 2007 season, the Caps rebranded. The franchise changed its colors from black and blue back to the organization's original design scheme of red, white, and blue. The jerseys that followed were similar to Washington's old-school look, having plenty of similarities with the uniform they wore from 1974-1994.

However, when the Caps unveiled their new look in 2007, there was one big difference from their old uniforms. The new-look had three stars on the front, compared to the six stars that had been across the top of the old sweaters.

Capitals assistant general manager Don Fishman spoke with NBC Sports Washington and explained why the franchise chose to go with just three stars, and it's because each star has a specific meaning.

"The three stars on our current Capitals jersey represent the three jurisdictions: Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.," Fishman said.

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While cutting the number of stars from six to three on the front of the sweater was a big change, Fishman explained that the new uniform was designed to be a modernized version of the franchise's original look.

"It was sort of meant to update and modernize the original Caps jersey, beautiful, old-school, 1970's work hard," Fishman said. "That jersey had six stars and was even on the jerseys in the 90s with the blue and black jersey. So we wanted to keep that concept of the stars, but we didn't want to keep that exact same look. So instead, we redid three stars right on the wordmark. The three stars seemed perfect."

The uniform change also marked the beginning of an incredible postseason run the Capitals have gone on since.

In 2007, the team's first year with the new look, the franchise made the playoffs for the first time in the Ovechkin era. Since then, they've made the postseason 11 of the past 12 seasons and won their first Stanley Cup in 2018.

For Fishman and many Caps fans, the red and white uniforms will always remind them of Washington's first championship and the franchise's biggest star.

"I think it's neat how this redesign will always be linked to Ovechkin and the Capitals' first Stanley Cup," Fishman said.

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