Game 6 of the first round playoff series between the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes was quite the up-and-down contest for Alex Ovechkin.
Late in the first period, his fourth goal of the postseason gave the Capitals a 2-1 advantage in the game — one that had the potential to clinch the best-of-seven series for Washington.
Things quickly went downhill from there for both the Capitals and their captain.
Down 3-2 midway through the third period and searching for the tying tally, it looked like Ovechkin had evened things up at three. Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov broke into Carolina’s end and tossed the puck on net while cutting behind it. That’s when calamity ensued.
With Hurricanes’ netminder Petr Mrazek twisting and turning in search of the puck, Ovechkin charged towards the net and pushed the loose biscuit between the pipes.
Initially, it appeared that all was fine and dandy. However, the officials on the ice quickly waved the goal off because they believed Ovechkin pushing Mrazek’s pad was what resulted in the tally. After Washington challenged the ruling, the call on the ice stood.
The following is the official statement from the NHL Situation Room in Toronto.
Explanation on WASH no-goal pic.twitter.com/3t6RJOrgjg
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 23, 2019
The decision was understandably controversial and was made worse by what happened next.
Less than two minutes after the “no goal” call went their way, Carolina’s Justin Williams tipped a Brett Pesce point shot past Braden Holtby to make it 4-2 for the Hurricanes.
Dougie Hamilton found the back of the net to make it a three goal spread a little later and essentially put the game to bed. That’s when Ovechkin’s emotions got the best of him.
The 33-year-old took a decent swing at Carolina’s Saku Maenalanen (of all people) with just 68 seconds remaining in the game, got called for slashing, mocked the refs with a round of applause and was promptly kicked out of the game with a 10-minute misconduct.
Alex Ovechkin slashes Saku Maenalanen, applauds the penalty call and gets ejected pic.twitter.com/cnijrY8PcE
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 23, 2019
The 5-2 victory for the Hurricanes has pushed this best-of-seven series to the max and Carolina’s official Twitter account used the opportunity to take a jab at both Ovechkin and Washington.
“He didn’t gain control, he didn’t see it,” said Ovechkin to the media following the game. “So, um, I dunno what the referee saw but, ah, his explanation was, you know, kinda weird. But, it’s okay. It’s over. Move forward.”
We have a feeling that Game 7 in Washington on Wednesday will be some can’t miss television.
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