Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson was fortunate to avoid an injury. Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars was fortunate to avoid supplemental discipline.
Benn took out Carlson late in Sunday’s game with a hard slash across the hip, sending him crashing into the boards. The two were pursuing the puck in front of the Caps’ empty net, with goaltender Vitek Vanecek pulled for an extra skater.
Washington responded to seeing their fallen blueliner, sparking a scrum as players from both sides converged. In the ensuing fracas, Benn picked up a minor for roughing as did Capitals forward Tom Wilson. There was no penalty on the original play. Carlson voiced his disagreement on the non-call with veteran ref Marc Joannette.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reportedly viewed the play as “more of an awkward play instead of a targeted shove into the boards, [noting that] Benn makes contact with Carlson as Carlson shifts his weight” according to Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News.
Benn was fined $5000 earlier this season for squirting water at an opposing player. He was also fined back in 2013, paying $10,000 for cross-checking Edmonton’s Ryan Jones. Though he’s never been suspended, he has caught the eye of Player Safety on some plays that required a second look but did not result in a ban, including a hit on Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
He has, though, been clotheslined by an official during a game.
Referees for the game were Marc Joannette (#25) and Kevin Pollock (#33). Linesmen were Derek Nansen (#70) and C.J. Murray (#68).