With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the second period of the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, tempers flared between both teams.
The spark was when Carolina center Jeff Skinner knocked down Dmitry Orlov in a race for the puck. Replays show Skinner by sweeping his right foot and leg under the rookie defenseman’s right leg, sending Orlov crashing into the boards awkwardly. (Video of the incident can be found below.)
Orlov wasn’t hurt on the play but afterward the Capitals weren’t happy that what they believed was a slewfoot by Skinner went largely unnoticed.
“That was a definite slewfoot. It’s an incredibly dangerous play,” one Washington player said on the condition of anonymity. “That’s not the first time [Skinner’s] done something like that, either.”
Skinner, the 2010-11 Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year, said he didn’t attempt to slewfoot Orlov.
“I didn’t see the positioning of my feet,” Skinner said. “I just sort of stood my ground. He tried to come and hit me and he slipped. There’s not much I can do there. If he tries to step back and hit me, I can’t do much. I can’t sort of wrap my arms around him and protect him if he slips.”
Fast forward to the minute-mark on the video below to see the alleged slewfoot, while the entire clip illustrates the aftermath as well.
It’s uncertain at this stage whether Skinner might face supplementary discipline from the NHL for the play.
It prompted an immediate response from Alex Ovechkin, who quickly came to the defense of his younger teammate, shoving and getting in Skinner’s face. As the swipes continued between Ovechkin and Skinner (later joined by Tim Gleason and Brooks Laich), behind the play the rest of the Capitals made their way up ice.
By the time that group caught up to the play it was already blown dead for a goaltender-interference call against Dennis Wideman. After the whistle, Orlov and Skinner exchanged cross-checks and face-washes, both trying to wrestle away from linesmen to scrap with one another.
In trying to break free from the restraint of linesman Jean Morin, Orlov shoved the official. That action resulted in Orlov receiving a 10-minute misconduct for what is listed on the scoresheet as abuse of officials, in addition to the roughing minors he and Skinner received for the altercation.
It’s possible Orlov could receive supplementary discipline from the NHL for the shove as well.
Capitals Coach Dale Hunter said he didn’t see the play because it was in the far corner of the ice.
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