In shocking scenes, Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin floored Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov with a punch. Svechnikov, a Russian scoring winger, had said earlier in the series that Ovechkin is someone he looked up to growing up.
Then, the 33-year-old Ovechkin landed a couple of monster right hands and dropped the 19-year-old clean.
If you had Ovechkin by knockout in the first period, congratulations, you just cashed. Ovechkin won in an absolute landslide.
Capitals stars not on the ice banged their sticks against the barrier in support of their fearless leader, who was taken to the penalty box while Svechnikov lay on the ice in a daze.
The two had been pushing and shoving before dropping the gloves during Game 3 of the first-round matchup, which the defending champ Washington led 2-0 as the series shifted to Carolina. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 National Hockey League draft has played in every game for the Hurricanes this season, scoring 20 goals and 17 assists.
In addition to his Game 3 fight, Ovechkin has now fought four times in his National Hockey League career.
The Capitals went on to win the game 5-0, with Carolina now trailing the best-of-seven series 2-0.