April 15 (UPI) — Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin knocked out Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov during the first period in Game 3 of the teams’ first-round playoff series Monday night.
Svechnikov, 19, is the youngest player in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The Barnaul, Russia, native previously said he grew up idolizing Ovechkin, who is 14 years older than him. Svechnikov appeared to challenge Ovechkin and the two players exchanged words before dropping the gloves.
Ovechkin and Svechnikov traded jabs before the Capitals winger dropped the Hurricanes forward with three nasty shots. Svechnikov’s head hit the ice after he was knocked down and he remained on the ice for several moments before Carolina’s training staff assisted him off the ice.
Both players received five-minute infractions for the fight.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) April 15, 2019
“Seeing a leader like that, play in all aspects of the game,” Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen told reporters. “He scores, he passes, but then when he fights and sticks up for his teammates like that, it’s inspiring to the rest of us on the bench and we love it.”
Ovechkin has one goal and two assists in Washington’s first two postseason games. Svechnikov has scored two goals with one assist in the Hurricanes’ opening two contests.
The Hurricanes led the Capitals 3-0 midway through the second period in Game 3. Washington holds a 2-0 series lead against Carolina.