Penguins winger Arron Asham said Thursday night that his lights-out gesture after dropping the Capitals’ Jay Beagle to the ice with two hard punches was “classless on my part.”
Asham challenged the Capitals forward to fight about six minutes into the third period of Washington’s 3-2 overtime win against Pittsburgh, after Beagle punched Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang and knocked off his helmet.
Watch below as Asham quickly sends Beagle to the ice, then skates away in celebration (better view of that here):
Beagle, who in addition to the fighting major got a roughing penalty for getting into it with Letang, had to be helped off the ice by trainers and teammates and pulled out a tooth on his way to the dressing room.
“My gestures after it was done, I was into the game, it was uncalled for. Classless on my part,” Asham, an experienced NHL fighter, told reporters after the game. “You know, I think those guys over there know that I’m not the kind of guy to be going off. It was a big game, I wanted to get my bench going — classless move on my part.”
After the game, Beagle’s teammates spoke out against Asham’s actions.
“It’s a fight. It’s hockey game, but again it was pretty tough but Beagle, like, he’s just first-year NHL,” said Alex Ovechkin, who was also seen yelling at the Penguins winger after helping a bloodied Beagle off the ice. “Asham, I don’t know if he knows that or not, but just put him on the ice. He’s not a fighter, it’s not his job to fight. I don’t know, it looked kind of not respectful for players on different team. I don’t know what people think but I think it’s not respectful.”
Added defenseman Karl Alzner: “It doesn’t surprise me. I’m not surprised by a lot of things that happened. ... Just some of the comments by their fans and stuff is just unbelievable. It’s classless. But I know that happens in fights. It’s really crappy to see. Have some class a little bit, ya know?”
The Post’s Katie Carrera reports that Beagle was seen walking around the dressing room, holding ice to his face. Coach Bruce Boudreau said the Capitals would have more on his status Friday.