The Washington Capitals need to beat the living bejesus out of the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Not only would a win push the Caps past their rivals in the standings and sweep them in their season series, a win would also send a message. Basically: We’re not putting up with your BS.
Eight days ago, Alex Ovechkin slashed Kris Letang in the ankles. Ovechkin claimed he was trying to shoot a loose puck at the net. Instead Letang fell dangerously into the end boards. Ovechkin was not whistled for a penalty and Letang left the game briefly.
The Penguins, rattled, lost focus on the two points. Instead, they spent the third period doling out cheap shots to Ovechkin and the Capitals, dispensing frontier justice rather than trying to win.
The fans followed their team’s lead. A Penguins fan poured beer on the Ovechkin and trainer Greg Smith during a stoppage in play.
The Capitals kept their eyes on the prize. They scored two goals in the third period, one from Joel Ward and an empty netter from John Carlson, to win 3-1.
I know you can’t print out GIFs and pin them to a bulletin board, but I hope the Caps remember how Pittsburgh played last week. Here’s a reminder.