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Capitals’ Tom Wilson avoids suspension for sucker punch, body slam in Rangers brawl

Tom Wilson skates by discipline once again.

The Capitals’ forward sparked a skirmish during Monday night’s matchup vs. the Rangers after he sucker punched a prone Pavel Buchnevich in the second period, but the NHL deemed that Wilson’s conduct, somehow, wasn’t worthy of suspension. Instead, he was fined a maximum $5,000 for the punch.

MORE: The Tom Wilson suspension timeline

Wilson’s punch on Buchnevich, though, wasn’t particularly the most egregious act in the dust-up: As Rangers and Capitals players came together, Wilson grabbed a helmet-less Artemi Panarin by the hair and slammed him to the ice in an incredibly vicious and dangerous maneuver.

Panarin’s head missed the ice by inches, and he would miss the rest of the game with a lower-body injury. Interestingly enough, the NHL decided not to take a look at the Panarin incident separately.

Wilson would be handed a 10-minute misconduct penalty for his role in the brawl, and the Rangers would go on to lose the game 6-3, also missing out on a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Needless to say, the NHL demonstrating questionable judgement in a punishment once again sparked outrage among fans on Tuesday.

The Rangers and Capitals meet again Wednesday night. 

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