Brenden Dillon endeared himself quickly to Capitals fans when, in just his third game with Washington, he dropped the gloves with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. Though it was not technically a fight as both players were only issued double-minors, it was a fight in every other sense of the word with both players taking swings and connecting.
That's one way to win the hearts of Caps fans, Dillon pic.twitter.com/hxj6vIWnRL— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) February 23, 2020
Yeah, that's a fight.
As it was just his third game, it was surprising to see Dillon jump headfirst into the rivalry the way he did.
There is some history between Pittsburgh and the San Jose Sharks, as Dillon noted in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Brodie Brazil.
"Going back to 2016, obviously the Sharks players, we have a little bit of history with Pittsburgh," he said, referencing the 2016 Stanley Cup Final between the Sharks and Penguins.
That helped, but in fact, Dillon had little trouble adjusting to the new rivalry as this was exactly the kind of game Dillon loves to play.
"[The Capitals] obviously have a lot of history with Pittsburgh and being in the same division," Dillon said. "Guys were trying to give me a rundown, like hey this is a big game, these ones are usually physical, it's a big rivalry. And I was like, OK, this is my kind of game, you know? A lot of skating and physicality and it just happened to be Malkin. I mean, it could have been anybody who was kind of jamming at the goalie. Next thing you know, it was kind of gloves off."
Dillon has shown he is not afraid to stick up for his new teammates. He also fought Ryan Hartman of the Minnesota Wild giving him two fights -- well, one fight and one double-minor for roughing -- in just 10 games with Washington.
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