The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are division rivals whose rivalry has ramped up since stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 – and after Wednesday's game included a brawl that spilled onto the Pens' bench, the emotion of the rivalry is as hot as ever.
The Metropolitan Division teams got into a skirmish at center ice near the halfway point of Wednesday's game in Washington, and within a matter of seconds, it erupted into a battle that jumped the boards and into Pittsburgh's bench: (Video via SportsnetCanada)
Capitals right winger Tom Wilson was thrown by Pittsburgh right winger Blake Comeau into the Penguins' bench through an open door, and Washington center Michael Latta leapt into the Pens' bench to defend his teammate. Both Caps were given two-minute roughing penalties by referees Kelly Sutherland and Justin St. Pierre, as were Comeau and Pens right winger Steve Downie. The bad blood also crossed language lines, as Russians Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin engaged in some verbal sparring in their native tongue after the incident.
Wednesday's game was the last regular-season showdown between the Penguins and Capitals, but if they do meet in the post-season, you can expect the same degree of intensity every moment of every game.