Alex Ovechkin hadn’t participated in a fight in the NHL since 2011, but the Capitals’ forward couldn’t resist the chance when challenged by young Carolina defender Andrei Svechnikov.
The Caps led the Hurricanes 2-0 in their opening round playoff series before Carolina thoroughly bested them on Monday.
Some of that frustration boiled over for Ovechkin, who knocked his Russian compatriot flat on the ground after a bit of jawing in the first period of the game.
The Capitals, a heavy favorite in the series, are still in control of the opening round matchup.
The biggest story of the game was probably the fight between the 33-year-old Ovechkin and the 19-year-old Svechnikov.
The Russian defender had to be carted off of the ice and taken to the hospital after his tussle with Ovechkin. His status for the rest of the series is unclear.
Carolina’s 5-0 win was their first NHL playoff victory since the 2009 season. Warren Foegele led the way for the Canes with two goals and an assist.
The series will resume on Thursday night in Raleigh.