Update, 12:45 p.m.: Ovechkin declines to comment on hit
Washington left wing Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek will have disciplinary hearings with NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan for hits in the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Penguins on Sunday.
Ovechkin laid a crunching check on Michalek in the corner 4 minutes and 5 seconds into the second period. On the play, Ovechkin appeared to leap off the ice prior to contact, but Michalek might have been falling before contact was made. There was no penalty on the hit, and Michalek’s head did not appear to be the principal point of contact. Ovechkin’s hearing is scheduled for early this afternoon. He did not address the hit following the game.
Ovechkin has been suspended twice in his career, but neither has been in the past 18 months, so he will not be considered a repeat offender under the NHL’s rules. Both suspensions came in the 2009-10 season. He received one two-game suspension after a knee-on-knee hit against Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason and another three months later for a hit on Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell.
Check out the video of Ovechkin’s hit here:
Not long after Ovechkin’s check Sunday, Michalek elbowed Matt Hendricks into the boards deep in the Pittsburgh zone, 8:36 into the second period. Hendricks chased the puck into the corner, and he crouched down just prior to absorbing the hit from Michalek’s forearm. Michalek received a minor penalty for elbowing on the play.
Afterward, Michalek had some strong words about the two hits. The defenseman acknowledged he deserved a penalty for the elbow against Hendricks but wasn’t happy that Ovechkin didn’t receive any type of penalty for his check.
“I was a little surprised. To me, when the play happened, he just went for my head. I’ve been told that he left his feet. Hit my head,” Michalek said. “To me, it’s a definitely a penalty. They didn’t call it. It should have been called for sure.”
“It’s not the first time he’s hit me or somebody else like that. Some players are more protected than the others. It should be an even field. Next shift I took a penalty. It was a good call. I elbowed the guy. I just told the ref that if he’s going to make the call on me he should make it on him too. It should be an even field no matter who makes the hit.”
Below is the video of Michalek’s elbow on Hendricks.
More from Post Sports:
— Caps prepare for possible Ovechkin suspension
— Backstrom skates for first time since Jan. 6
— Malkin’s goal vaults Penguins past Caps in OT
— Loss overshadow’s Ovi’s three-point outing