Early in the second period of this afternoon’s Game 2 matchup between the Metro Divison rival Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin was rattled by Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson, the result of a BRUTAL sandwich style head shot deep in the Pens zone.
As he was breaking the puck out from behind his own net, Dumoulin makes a quick pass up ice and then stops up when he sees Ovechkin in his trolley tracks. While Dumoulin avoids getting absolutely trucked by Ovechkin, Wilson follows through with his shoulder to the back and side of Dumoulin’s head.
Here’s the play in question, courtesy of Flyers Nation editor Brady Tretternero:
Watch Dumoulin’s reaction. You can see him stop up on Ovechkin, but as he does so he turns directly into Wilson, who appears to be trying to get around him. As a result Dumoulin takes the full force of Wilson’s shoulder into his head and goes down hard once he eventually makes contact with Ovechkin.
Here's the hit from another angle, courtesy of CBC Sports' Pete Blackburn:
Ouch. From this angle things look even worse. It's obvious that Dumoulin's head gets absolutely squashed by Wilson and that he wasn't able to properly brace for Ovechkin's impact. Double ouch. Dumoulin would remain down on the ice until the play was blown dead and Penguins training staff was able to properly assess him. He has since left the game and is undergoing medical evaluation. No word yet on whether or not he’ll return for the game’s third period.
Unfortunately for Wilson, given his history with NHL Player Safety, it’s likely that he’ll receive some attention for this hit. While Wilson doesn’t appear to initiate contact with Dumoulin on purpose, the Capitals pest’s reputation precedes him. Just the words “Wilson” and “head shot” are bound to get the interest of NHL Player Safety alone.
Whether or not Wilson ends up facing any supplemental discipline as a result of this unfortunate player however, remains to be seen. For what it's worth, Wilson has been a surprisingly valuable offensive player for the Caps so far this post season with two goals and five points in seven games so far in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.