NHL: Capitals' Alex Ovechkin criticizes refs before loss to Rangers
Washington • About two hours before the opening faceoff, Alex Ovechkin asked for more respect from the refs. His day went downhill from there.
The two-time league MVP was directly responsible for three of the New York Rangers' goals, including a pair after a rare sequence in which he was cited for two penalties within seconds of each other without a stoppage in play. Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan took advantage of Ovechkin's miscues Sunday to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.
Ovechkin took issue with an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty called against teammate Mike Ribeiro in a loss to the Islanders on Saturday. "Some refs don't like some personalities on our team" and are too quick to call a penalty when they hear a complaint, he said Sunday.
However, the double-call against Ovechkin a few hours later had nothing to do with yelling at an official. He tripped Callahan, and then, with the call delayed while New York was pulling the goalie, he dragged down Ryan McDonagh from the side for a holding call.