As Washington Capitals fans, we’ve been spoiled with some memorable rivalry games over the last four decades. Whether it’s contests against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers or another opponent I’m missing (sorry Carolina Hurricanes, you’re not quite there yet), the Caps have been there to provide some memorable moments and some not so memorable moments in these encounters.
There were so many great choices and unfortunately some moments didn’t make it to this list. But here are the 10 that did. Which one of these rivalry games was your favorite?
#10 May 5, 2021 at New York Rangers
We start with the most recent memorable rivalry game. Just two days after the Caps won 6-3, Tom Wilson was involved. He was involved in a scrum behind the net where he punched Pavel Buchnevich and then later beat up Artemi Panarin. Wilson received 14 penalty minutes and a $5,000 fine but wasn’t tossed from the game nor suspended.
The result of the punishments or should I say lack thereof caused the Rangers to release a statement criticizing both the league and the department of player safety while calling Wilson’s actions a “horrifying act of violence”.
The rematch on this fateful night had six fights in the first period including a forward brawl right off the opening draw. This was a contest that saw the Caps come out on top on both the scoreboard 4-2 and in the fight department. T.J. Oshie had a hat trick in the win while Vitek Vanecek made 19 saves.
The Rangers added some enforcers over the offseason to try to address their “Tom Wilson problem”. The two rivals will meet on opening night this Oct. 13 at Capital One Arena. If the last game was any indication, expect more bouts in this epic rematch.