Capitals' HC Todd Reirden: Anders Lee's Hit on Nicklas Backstrom 'Predatory'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2020

New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) waits for a faceoff during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The Washington Capitals were not happy with Anders Lee's first-period hit on Nicklas Backstrom that knocked him out of the remainder of Wednesday's 4-2 loss against the New York Islanders.

Capitals head coach Todd Reirden called the hit "late" and "predatory," per ESPN, while John Carlson said it looked "real dirty to me."

The Capitals made their feelings known during the game too, as Lee—who is the Islanders captain—ended up in fights with Carlson (right after the hit) and Tom Wilson.

"I tried to throw the brakes on a little bit there, but I caught him," Lee said of the hit. "The end result after that was a penalty, a couple of fights. It was settled and then the game continued on."

Lee will not face additional punishment from the NHL:

"Playoff hockey should be right up Anders' wheelhouse, if you will," Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. "He's big. He's strong. He scored an important goal. He had a hit. And he responded to Wilson's challenge. What more can you ask from a leader?"

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Lee's third-period goal was key, as he tied the game at 2-2 after the Islanders had fallen down 2-0 in the second period.

Game 2 between the teams is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. ET.