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T.J. Oshie injured in Game 4 after dangerous hit from Warren Foegele

T.J. Oshie injured in Game 4 after dangerous hit from Warren Foegele

As the series returns to Washington tied 2-2, the Capitals will have more concerns than just a blown series lead. T.J. Oshie left Game 4 late after a dangerous hit to the back from Carolina forward Warren Foegele sent him dangerously into the boards.

As Oshie entered into the offensive zone with the puck, Foegele came in on the backcheck. Oshie had a good position on the puck, blocking Foegele out with his back. Foegele responded with a cross-check to the back of Oshie that knocked him over face-first awkwardly into the boards. Oshie appeared to strike the boards with his right shoulder and was doubled over in obvious pain as he slowly made his way off the ice.

Alex Ovechkin was incensed after the play. He yelled at Foegele afterward and even followed him to the penalty box and continued to yell at him from outside the box.

Foegele was issued a two-minute minor for boarding.

The rules regarding boarding allow the referees a large degree of discretion when determining if a penalty is a minor or a major. Both penalties can be assessed at the referee’s discretion “based on the degree of violence of the impact with the boards.”

A reasonable argument could be made for either a minor or a major penalty in that situation. On the one hand, Foegele was back-checking and Oshie certainly knew he was there. The hit may have been illegal, but he was blocking out Foegele and not unsuspecting. On the other, the check sent Oshie to the boards with a tremendous degree of violence which is the only specific standard given for a major.

A major penalty in a one-goal game with just over five minutes remaining could have been a game-changer. Regardless, Washington had a power play with a chance to tie the game and failed. Now they will have to cross their fingers that when they take the ice on Saturday for Game 5, Oshie will be in the lineup and not out with an injury.

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Brenden Dillon fights Evgeni Malkin in his first taste of the Capitals/Penguins rivalry

Brenden Dillon fights Evgeni Malkin in his first taste of the Capitals/Penguins rivalry

It might only go down on the stat sheet as a pair of roughing penalties, but that wouldn’t be an accurate enough description of the one-sided affair between Brenden Dillon and Evgeni Malkin on Sunday afternoon. That was a fight and Dillon came out on top. 

Playing in just his third game with Washington since being acquired from the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, defenseman Brenden Dillon took part in the highly contentious Capitals/Penguins rivalry for the first time. A player known for his toughness on the ice and reputation of sticking up for his teammates, Dillon didn’t take long to endear himself to fans by adding fuel to the longstanding bad blood between the two franchises.

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin shoved the Capitals’ Nic Dowd just after the buzzer sounded to mark the end of the first period. Dillon was quick to jump forward in support of his new teammate, pushing Malkin up against the glass and proceeding to get several headshots in before referees were able to peel him away.

The home crowd roared in support of the newly acquired defenseman, who’s already well on his way to becoming a fan favorite.

Dillon clearly already has this “We hate the Penguins” thing down. If today’s action is any indication, his Capitals tenure is going to be a lot of fun for the D.C. faithful.

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Wayne Gretzky congratulates Alex Ovechkin for reaching 700 goals: ‘See you at 800’

Wayne Gretzky congratulates Alex Ovechkin for reaching 700 goals: ‘See you at 800’

When Alex Ovechkin beat Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood to score the 700th goal of his NHL career, he put himself in the rarest of hockey company. It was an achievement only seven men had done before him and all of them are either in the Hall of Fame or on their way to enshrinement in the next few years.

But the man atop that list, the most storied player of them all, remains head and shoulders above the rest of the sport with 894 career goals—93 more than anyone else. Wayne Gretzky is a name respected by hockey fans everywhere as the greatest player of all time. So when he speaks, his voice carries weight.

Ovechkin is the first player who has a chance to catch Gretzky’s record, which has stood for the last 21 years. Given he stays healthy, the 34-year-old should get close if he stays on the torrid pace he’s been able to maintain despite playing in his 15th season.

Gretzky has a more few years of comfortably resting at the top before Ovechkin can start making things interesting. For now, the Hall of Famer is all class when congratulating the Capitals star.

“Congrats on 700 Alex, @ovi8! You’re truly one of the all-time greats,” he wrote on Twitter. “See you at 800.”

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