Those were their stances after Ovechkin was called for charging Girardi with 7:43 left in the second period during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a 3-2 victory for the Caps that evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2. Washington's Brooks Laich carried the puck into the Rangers zone and lost control of it. The puck squirted toward Ovechkin, who skated it and delivered the blow to Girardi.
Girardi was able to stay in the game, but he wasn't happy with the hit afterward.
"He hit me in the head first," Girardi said. "I think it was the right call. I'm not sure what it was, whether it was charging or interference or whatever, but my head's there, and he hits it. But I think he was just playing the game hard. I don't know."
"I just missed the puck," Ovechkin said. "I tried to kick the puck and I saw he was coming, so I just got to protect myself."
When asked if he hit Girardi's head, Ovechkin said, "In the head? No, I think it was the shoulder."
Girardi never left the bench during the Rangers' ensuing power play and returned for a regular shift when the teams returned to even strength. He had one assist in 22:46 of ice time.
Ovechkin has been suspended twice during his career. He served two games for boarding Chicago's Brian Campbell in March 2010, a hit that left Campbell with a broken collarbone, fractured rib and concussion. Just before this year's All-Star break, Ovechkin was slapped with a three-game ban for a high hit to Pittsburgh's Zbynek Michalek.