After helping power the Washington Capitals to a crucial, series tying win in Saturday afternoon's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers, it seems as though Alex Ovechkin may potentially be facing discipline after a controversial hit to Rangers' defenseman Dan Girardi.
The play occurred a little after the halfway mark of the second period, when Ovechkin attempted to land a big hit on Girardi, but in the process left his feet and appeared to make contact with his head. It also should be noted that Girardi was not in possession of the puck at the time of the hit.
Ovechkin was called for a minor penalty of charging on the play.
When asked for comment after the game, Ovechkin said that he attempted to kick the puck on the play and saw Girardi coming out of the corner of his eye. He maintained that the hit was in order to protect himself.
Ovechkin on Girardi hit: "I just missed the puck. I tried to kick the puck and I saw he was coming, so I just got to protect myself."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) May 5, 2012
Girardi wasn't upset about the play and felt that the officials made the right call on the ice. When asked if he felt Ovechkin should be suspended the defenseman stated that he didn't wish to comment on it but did say that he was hit in the head.
Girardi: don't think he realized he hit my head a little...agreed with the call...he was just trying to play the game hard (more)— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 5, 2012
Ovechkin remained consistent that he did not make contact with Girardi's head. Capitals head coach Dale Hunter said the play was the result of incidental contact, but backtracked by saying that he hadn't had a chance to view a replay yet.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates throughout the Capitals and Rangers Eastern Conference semifinal series. For more news and analysis on the Caps, visit Japers' Rink. For news and info from a Rangers perspective during the series, visit Blueshirt Banter. And for all your news on the NHL Playoffs, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.