Washington holds its breath: Ovechkin gets blown up — by teammate

Alexander Ovechkin & Jack Hllen, Washington Capitals teammates, collide in violent hit at center ice, Hillen is injured in loss Los Angeles Kings.

Jack Hillen was on the ice for several minutes after a scary collision with teammate Alexander Ovechkin on Tuesday night.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

It's every big hitter in the NHL's dream: A big-time, big-name scorer, in the open ice with no clue you're coming. And in an instant . . .

BOOM!

On Tuesday night, that big-time, big-name scorer was Alexander Ovechkin (doesn't get much bigger than Ovi, eh?). The man who laid him out in the open ice? Jack Hillen, welcome to infamy.

The problem?

They play on the same team.

The infamy?

Ovechkin didn't get the worse of it.

See the hit for yourself:



You can also see it at the 40-second mark of this highlights clip:

 

 

Here's the story:

The Capitals were hosting the Kings, and facing a gut-wrenching loss as they battle for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. But with just under a minute to go, after blowing a pair of two-goal leads, rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov tied the game to force overtime.

Halfway into the extra period, the two Capitals were skating through center ice, apparently unaware of one another as they crossed paths. Hillen's helmet went into Ovechkin's chest and they both went down.

Ovechkin made it to his skates and played on, but Hillen, after remaining face-down on the ice several minutes as training personnel tended to him, was helped off the ice and did not return.

It was an extremely painful 5-4 shootout loss for host Washington. Ovechkin scored twice in the game's first 10 minutes (his league-leading 47th and 48th goals), and the team also lost star center Nicklas Backstrom to an upper-body injury.

Both Backstrom and Hillen we be evaluated on Wednesday.

(H/t: Eye On Hockey)

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