Seconds after the Capitals fell behind 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators in the third period of Tuesday night’s shutout loss, Caps center Mikhail Grabovski decided to make a statement.
As he was headed toward the Caps’ bench, Grabovski drilled Ottawa center Zack Smith with a clean but purposeful check, then got into a scrum with a couple of Senators between the two benches.
When he latched onto Smith, Grabovski reached across the linesman and attempted to grab at Smith’s face.
As a result, both players were given roughing minors and Grabovski left the game with an additional 10-minute misconduct.
On his way to the locker room, Grabovski tore his helmet off and slammed it to the floor.
Why the 10-minute misconduct?
“I was told, I think it was because he reached out, because of what he did with his hand,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “I think he hit a guy and they all kind of jumped him.”
Oates said he didn’t like losing Grabvoski, but didn’t mind him showing some fight in a game that lacked high emotions from either side.
“I want the guys to compete,” Oates said. “He’s frustrated, but you can’t go the penalty box. That doesn’t make sense, either. But I want them to fight for everything they can.”