You come at The King, you best not miss.
It’s a lesson teenager Andrei Svechnikov will never forget.
Ice hockey legend Alex Ovechkin used his fists to keep the dream of another Stanley Cup triumph alive as the Washington captain threw down with his younger rival, putting the rookie in his place when he dared to square up with the 33-year-old.
In a scary brawl featuring two unlikely foes in Ovechkin — the grizzly future Hall of Famer and Svechnikov, the Carolina Hurricanes’ 19-year-old wunderkind trying to follow in The Great 8’s footsteps — the elder Russian won in a knockout fashion that would leave even Mike Tyson speechless.
Ovechkin — the last person fans would expect to engage in fisticuffs — landed three consecutive daggers to Svechnikov’s head as the latter swung to no avail. The Carolina forward fell to the ice and hit his head as the fight — which was always only going to have one winner — came to a quick and brutal end.
Capitals stars not on the ice banged their sticks against the barrier in support of their fearless leader, who was taken to the penalty box while Svechnikov lay on the ice in a daze.
The youngster received medical attention, his hands were shaking and he couldn’t get back to his feet. Teammates eventually helped him off the ice but he never returned, instead spending the rest of the game licking his wounds.
America went wild on social media over the violent stoush as a video of the incident was viewed nearly two million times.
The internet, as always, acted quickly, updating Svechnikov’s Wikipedia page to read: “He was killed in a fight by Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals on April 15, 2019,” though it was quickly changed back to its original form.
The two had been pushing and shoving before dropping the gloves during Game 3 of the first-round playoff match-up, which the defending champ Washington led 2-0 as the series shifted to Carolina.
Tempers flared enough for Ovechkin to indulge in just the fourth fight of his career, and first since nearly a decade ago, according to HockeyFights.com.
For Svechnikov, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft who helped lead the Hurricanes back into the postseason, it was his first fight in the big leagues.
But the feud didn’t end after the final period finished. Svechnikov’s brother Evgeny, also a pro hockey player, issued an ominous warning on his Instagram story, tagging Ovechkin and writing: “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.”
Carolina thrashed Washington 5-0 in Game 3 and the Capitals now lead the playoff series 2-1.
With Mark Fischer, New York Post