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Capitals and Rangers begin game with full line brawl; Tom Wilson fights Brendan Smith on his first shift

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Tensions were understandably high between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers following Monday night’s fracas involving the Capitals’ Tom Wilson. 

The two teams did not waste much time trying to settle the score in their rematch at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, as six fights occurred in the game’s first five minutes. 

Right after the puck dropped, all three members of the Capitals’ fourth line – Garnet Hathaway, Nic Dowd and Carl Hagelin – dropped the gloves with Rangers counterparts Colin Blackwell, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Kevin Rooney. 

Next up on the fight card was the main event, as the Rangers’ Brendan Smith pounced on Wilson during the tough guy’s first shift on the ice. Smith was assessed 12 minutes in instigator penalties for starting the fight. 

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