Canes’ Svechnikov injured after fight with Caps’ Ovechkin

Carolina Hurricanes rookie forward Andrei Svechnikov left his team’s 5-0 playoff win over the Washington Capitals Monday after a fight with Caps star Alex Ovechkin that left Svechnikov down and injured.

After the two Russians exchanged a few slashes and shoves in front of the Caps net, the two dropped the gloves and began throwing punches. Ovechkin, who outweighs the 19-year-old rookie by 40 pounds, landed a few heavy punches to Svechnikov’s head, the last as Svechnikov was falling, then landed on top of him as Svechnikov fell hard to the ice and banged his head.

Svechnikov, who scored both goals in the Canes’ 4-2 loss in Game 1, needed assistance from medical personnel on the ice and then was helped to the locker room. He did not return to the game and his playing status moving forward in the series was not known.

Both players were given five-minute fighting majors at 10:59 of the first period. Ovechkin went to the penalty box, where he was booed heavily by Canes fans at PNC Arena.

The Canes also lost forward Micheal Ferland to an upper-body injury in the first period. Ferland left the game soon after putting a body check on the Caps’ Tom Wilson along the boards.

Svechnikov and Ovechkin had a few collisions and run-ins Saturday in Game 2 in Washington. Ovechkin put a hard hit on Svechnikov in the corner on one play, and two got their sticks up and had at each other at another point in the game.

After the Canes’ morning skate Monday, Svechnikov was asked about competing against Ovechkin, a 51-goal scorer this season and considered the best Russian to play in the NHL.

“I followed him as a kid,” Svechnikov said. “Good guy. Leader of that team. It’s fun to play against him.”

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In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.