Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson set off a massive brawl during the second period of his team’s 6-3 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
The scrap occurred after Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek made a save on a Rangers shot. With a number of players tussling inside the crease, Wilson began punching a prone Pavel Buchnevich in the head. Wilson then followed up his battering of Buchnevich by body-slamming Artemiy Panarin to the ice during the ensuing donnybrook.
Wilson received a 10-minute misconduct penalty and four minutes for roughing. To cap it all off, Wilson flexed after making his way to the penalty box.
“I figure you should have some more respect for the game and for the players,” Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said of Wilson’s play. “I don’t honestly know where to start, it’s just horrible. Zero respect. I don’t know why I’m surprised, but yeah, just horrible.”
Wilson scored an empty net goal late in the third period for the Capitals.
With the Boston Bruins’ win over the New Jersey Devils, the Rangers were eliminated from playoff contention.
“We all saw it, and there are lines that can’t be crossed in this game,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “To me, it’s just zero respect for the game, in general. You get one of the star players in this league now, who could have got seriously, seriously hurt in that incident. … It happens time and time again with him, and it’s just totally unnecessary.”
Wilson has an extensive history of suspensions. In March, Wilson was handed a seven-game suspension after his hit on the Boston Bruins’ Brandon Carlo, who spent a night in the hospital after being slammed into the boards.
Wilson also earned a 20-game suspension – later reduced to 14 games by an independent arbitrator – for an illegal hit to the head of Oskar Sundqvist during the 2018-19 preseason. That was his fourth suspension in 105 games.
Before his suspension in March, however, Wilson somehow managed to go more than two years without earning a suspension.
Contributing: Vincent Mergogliano, The Journal News. The Associated Press.