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That escalated quickly | Caps, Rangers game opens up with 6 fights amid revenge over Tom Wilson

At one point during Wednesday's game, the fights were so prevalent that you had a handful of Caps players jammed into a penalty box with Tom Wilson.
Credit: AP
Washington Capitals' Garnet Hathaway (21) fights with New York Rangers' Phillip Di Giuseppe (33) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in New York. (Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON — Six fights! Yes, six ... to start a National Hockey League game on Wednesday. And it was puck down, gloves off, from the start.

The Washington Capitals' game with New York escalated quickly two days after a Tom Wilson post-whistle scrum with Rangers players Artemi Panarin and Pavel Buchnevich on Monday sent shockwaves through the NHL -- not a first for the Caps controversial player at right wing.

Wilson left the game after the first period, with an upper-body injury, after skating four shifts for a total of two minutes and 36 seconds. Something that could have possibly been expected with the number of dust-ups to start the game that was sent as statements from the Rangers about his aggressive play.

At one point during Wednesday's game, the fights were so prevalent that there were a handful of Caps players jammed into a penalty box with Tom Wilson. A smirk from the 27-Year-old really showed the craziness of the whole event that unfolded.

The Capitals took home a victory Wednesday 4-2 amid three goals from T.J. Oshie. But this series to start the week between the two teams was crazy and bizarre, to say the least. 

The NHL fined Wilson $5,000 Tuesday for Monday's hit on Buchnevich, which did not make Rangers fans, players and front office members happy. 

Also, the New York Rangers fired their general manager and president after a statement from the team that condemned Wilson and essentially said a league official that overlooks player misconduct needed to be removed from his job. 

“Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these type of acts and we find it shocking that the NHL and their Department of Player Safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely,” the Rangers said. “Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season. We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL Head of Player Safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.”

It is not known if this statement had any part to do with the Rangers letting go of its two front office leaders.

This is Wilson's third fine in eight NHL seasons, and he has been suspended five times. The most recent suspension was seven games in March for boarding Boston's Brandon Carlo.

More on The Capitals:


The Capitals were without captain Alex Ovechkin again Wednesday night. Ovechkin skated only 39 seconds Monday night before leaving the game. He also missed the previous four games with a lower-body injury. Ovechkin needs one goal to tie Marcel Dionne at 731 for fifth place all-time.


Capitals: Host Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday before finishing regular season next Tuesday with rescheduled game against Boston.

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