Alex Ovechkin said he only made shoulder-to-shoulder contact when he hit Dan Girardi during Washington’s 3-2 Game 4 victory on Saturday.
At 12:17 of the second period, the Capitals captain was called for charging after he launched himself at Girardi, leaving his feet on the hit. It was unclear whether Ovechkin hit the Rangers defenseman’s head, though it appears the shoulder was the principal point of contact.
“In the head?” Ovechkin said when asked about the hit. “No, I think it was the shoulder.”
Capitals Coach Dale Hunter said he thought it was incidental contact. But Girardi, who wasn’t injured on the play, said Ovechkin hit his head.
“I think he’s just playing the game hard but I don’t know,” Girardi said after the game. “He hit me in the head first.”
See the hit for yourself below:
It’s possible — though reportedly unlikely — there could be supplementary discipline from Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president of player safety. Ovechkin, who has been suspended three times and fined twice, is considered a repeat offender by the NHL; he served a three-game suspension for hitting the Penguins’ Zbynek Michalek in January.
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