Hurricanes coach angry after Ovechkin knocks out rookie in playoff fight (VIDEO)

Apr 16 2019, 5:02 pm

Their first playoff win in nearly 10 years came at a cost for the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

In a bout featuring a pair of unlikely combatants, 19-year-old rookie Andrei Svechnikov was knocked out in a first-period fight by 33-year-old Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

As one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time, Ovechkin doesn’t fight very often. Monday’s bout was just the fourth fight of his career, and the first in eight years. Svechnikov’s participation in the fight was even more surprising, given Ovechkin must have been a hero for him growing up in Russia — not to mention the fact that he gave up 40 pounds to the future Hall of Famer.

The Hurricanes weren’t happy with Ovechkin, as you can imagine, with head coach Rod Brind’Amour saying that the Capitals forward jumped Svechnikov.

Ovechkin, for his part, says that Svechnikov challenged him.

“First of all I hope he’s ok,” Ovechkin told reporters after the game. “I’m not a big fighter, and he’s the same. He asked me to fight and I said, ‘let’s go, yeah.’ I hope he’s ok. You don’t want to see a guy get hurt.”

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There’s some debate about Ovechkin’s explanation, with Brind’Amour saying Tuesday that “there’s two versions” of the story.

The “code” for this type of fight is a little murky. Targeting a smaller rookie in a fight is completely against hockey decorum, though if Svechnikov was looking for trouble as Ovechkin contends, that unwritten rule goes out the window.

The Hurricanes went on to win the game 5-0, cutting Washington’s series lead in half with Game 4 scheduled for Thursday in North Carolina. Svechnikov, who went to hospital after the fight, will miss the next game (and probably more) with a concussion.