With just over 20 seconds left to play in the Capitals’ 3-2 loss to the Stars on Sunday, things went haywire.
As a loose puck made its way toward the Capitals’ net, defenseman John Carlson and Jamie Benn frantically tried to reach the puck before it went past the cage. In the process, Benn checked Carlson, who lost his balance and slid full speed into the boards behind the net.
There was an ensuing scrum between both teams, as Carlson struggled to get back to his feet. He was able to stand up and skate to the bench on his own, but went immediately for the dressing room. There was not an update on his status postgame.
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette called the play a dirty one, and when asked if he hoped the NHL Department of Player Safety would take a look at the play, Laviolette said they needed to do so.
“They have to,” Laviolette said. “That’s one of our best players.”
The Capitals were already down Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was put on IR just before puck drop Sunday. He is eligible to return on March 26, but before then, the Capitals will play Tuesday against the Blues and Friday against the Sabres.
Stars coach Rick Bowness defended Benn postgame.
"I mean, that's two guys going for a loose puck," Bowness said, adding he doesn't hope there's any supplemental discipline coming for Benn. "He gives him a little shot in the hips and he goes down, so I hope not."
There could be an update on Carlson, and if he has an injury, on Monday — the day of the NHL trade deadline. If not, his status will become clear Tuesday.