Alex Ovechkin knocks out Hurricanes player with brutal punch

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The Carolina Hurricanes made their first home playoff game in a decade a successful one by trouncing the defending Stanley Cup champions Washington Capitals 5-0 on Monday.

Carolina Hurricanes left wing Warren Foegele (13) celebrates this second period goal against the Washington Capitals in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena.

"First of all, I hope he's OK", Ovechkin said. Right from the start it was good. "We can't play like that if we want to win. I'll just leave it at that", he said. The central, polarizing figure of this first-round series between the Carolina Hurricanes and Capitals has arrived, and while it's no surprise that it's Ovechkin - he's played that role his whole career - how he got there says a lot about what kind of player he is these days. This was about a rookie learning a valuable lesson at the hands of a superstar.

Even though the spectacular blow went viral on Twitter and was replayed countless time on sports television, Clay wonders how long the National Hockey League can go allowing such violence when Svechnikov could have very easily hit the back of his head on the ice when he was falling backwards unconscious and been seriously injured, or even paralyzed.

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Being escorted off the ice with training staff on either side of him, the forward had played just five shifts, registering a shot on goal and a hit to his credit. Brind'Amour said he was treated and evaluated at the hospital.

"He has a special bond with our group, with me too". So it's a little bit frustrating because he got hurt. "I'm still sick to my stomach about it". He nearly certainly won't play in Thursday's Game 4, and it's unclear if the Hurricanes will have defenseman Calvin de Haan or forward Micheal Ferland, who are both also nursing injuries. I get the fact that members of the Carolina franchise are going to protect their player, but this was Ovechkin's fourth fight of his career and first since 2010.

"We all battled together - we battled hard". Both teams had power play chances.

Limiting Washington to just one shot throughout the period, the Hurricanes were firmly in control at that point.

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A native of Barnaul, Russia, Svechnikov has said he grew up idolizing Ovechkin, his countryman who is 14 years his senior.

"You know, we didn't deserve to win". He added he's "going to be real careful" and is "certainly not going to rush him back".

With a loud standing-room-only crowd of 18,783 hitting decibel levels nearing 120, Carolina was fueled by physical as well as emotional energy.

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The Lightning's three shots in the first period were the fewest allowed in a period by the Blue Jackets in a home playoff game. And even though the Blue Jackets ultimately collapsed last season after taking a 2-0 lead on the Washington Capitals.