If there is one thing we’ve learned about the Capitals and Islanders in this first-round playoff series that resumes with Game 7 on Monday night at Verizon Center, it is that they don’t like each other. And the fans are certainly getting a sense of that anger.
Moments after the final horn sounded to end the Islanders’ 3-1 victory on Saturday, all hell broke loose on the ice and in the stands.
First, Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck took his stick and smashed the helmet of Marcus Johansson like a piñata.
Then, as Capitals forward Jason Chimera left the ice, a brief altercation ensued between Chimera and a fan in the front row adjacent to the tunnel to the visitors’ dressing room.
“A fan was giving him a hard time and [Chimera] wanted a piece of him,” said a Nassau Coliseum security guard who was stationed at the tunnel. “I told [Chimera] to get to the locker room.”
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Chimera declined to comment when approached by reporters after the game.
Several Capitals players declined to discuss the shenanigans that ensued after the final horn. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson all received roughing minors after the game, while Kyle Okposo and Johnny Boychuk received cross-checking penalties, Brock Nelson was called for roughing and Clutterbuck was assessed a 10-minute misconduct, presumable for smashing Johansson’s helmet.
“It’s a good battle out there between two good teams,” said Carlson, who sparked the mini-brawl for taking a shot as time expired. Okposo cross-checked Carlson and Ovechkin tacked Okposo.
“I tried to make a shot and Okposo started coming after me,” Carlson said. “We’re a team. We’re always a team.”
Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen was succinct when asked about the incident.
“It’s a hockey game,” he said. “Sometimes things get heated.”
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