Tensions were high in game two of a back-to-back between these division rivals.
The New York Rangers took on the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night and, as many expected, it was a wild one.
A line brawl broke out at puck drop and the first period was highlighted by penalties.
A whopping 20 penalties were committed in the first alone, including veteran Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith immediately dropping the gloves with Tom Wilson.
Speaking of which, Tom Wilson’s actions on Monday prompted this response from the Rangers.
He went after Pavel Buchnevich and then caused Artemiy Panarin to suffer a season-ending injury while seriously endangering him. Wilson was fined $5,000 for the hit, a punishment many around the league believed to be too soft.
In response, the Rangers released a statement expressing their disapproval of the punishment and criticizing George Parros, the head of NHL player safety, claiming he is unfit for his role.
Fewer than 24 hours later, Rangers president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton were fired. These past 48 hours or so have been incredibly eventful for the Rangers.
Several Rangers players as well as head coach David Quinn expressed their frustration with Wilson and the league, indicating that tensions would be high in Wednesday’s game.
Rangers fans were happy with their team’s response in this one, even though the players didn’t exactly play well. The Rangers lost this one 4-2, but the goals they did score were all about the kids.
The first was a short-handed goal scored by Alexis Lafrenière and assisted by Filip Chytil, both of whom have been impressive. The second was scored by Morgan Barron, the first of his career, and was assisted by Zac Jones and Libor Hàjek.
On the Capitals’ side, T.J. Oshie scored a hat-trick in his first game back since the passing of his father.
This was an action-packed game that could signify the beginning of a long, heated rivalry between the two sides.