Wednesday night's nationally televised Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins game was supposed to be all about Zdeno Chara.
Chara, the 6-foot-9 defenseman who was Bruins captain for 14 years, signed with the Capitals in the offseason after being told his ice time would be cut, and this was his first game back in Boston.
But as often happens, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin grabbed the spotlight.
Or in this case, Ovechkin and Boston's Trent Frederic.
Frederic, the rookie who led the Bruins with 26 penalty minutes heading into the game and had fought Washington's Tom Wilson earlier in the season, had a few memorable exchanges with Ovechkin as he defended against the NHL's No. 7 all-time leading goal scorer.
Frederic checked Ovechkin into the boards and the Washington winger threw a little swing at the Bruins forward. Frederic dropped his gloves to challenge him, but Ovechkin gave him a look and they skated away.
Ovechkin wasn’t fighting Trent Frederic ? pic.twitter.com/deq2rA3kgj
In the third period, Frederic stole the puck from Ovechkin and then cross-checked him a couple times. This time, Ovechkin had enough and delivered a painfully placed stick.
Trent Frederic just got Ovechkin to pop his top and uhhhhh yeah that doesn’t feel good #NHLBruinspic.twitter.com/ge7GQTvz7g
Both went to the penalty box for two minutes.
In the end, Chara had a good game. Though no fans were in the stands, he received a nice tribute video from the Bruins and stick taps from his former teammates in the first period.
Chara gets a tribute video in the first period ?❤️ pic.twitter.com/EM1VMephcK
"I felt a little bad for him that there wasn’t 18,000-plus fans here giving him the ovation he deserved," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "That would have been a real nice thing for him, but obviously that’s not able to be done right now due to the circumstances.
And Chara's new team defeated his old team 2-1 in a shootout to increase the Capitals' East Division lead on the Bruins to three points.
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