Nazem Kadri wasn't always seen as a big player in the NHL, but he nearly left an indelible mark on the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night. Towards the end of the first period, he committed a penalty that resulted in the afflicted player remaining on the ground for some time. That player? Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals superstar and one of the most popular players in the entire league. It may not have been his intention to injure the star, but Kadri was quickly trending on Twitter.

Laying it on the line

People immediately struggled to determine whether a penalty should've been called in the aftermath of the play.

It appeared Alexander Ovechkin leaped up in the air a little bit as his adversary neared him. On the other hand, it did appear as if Kadri might have gone a little low with his hit. Either way, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward clearly went under the Capitals star in some way that flipped him right over at the end of the first period.

Ovechkin remained face down on the ice for some time, striking fear into the hearts of every Capitals fan. He appeared unable to put weight on his left leg and grabbed at his left knee before slowly moving towards the tunnel. Kadri went to the penalty box for two minutes on a tripping charge. Luckily, Ovechkin returned in the second period and didn't seem too affected by the injury, laying out Jake Gardiner and drawing a roar from the crowd.

Comes in a victory

Perhaps the Kadri hit on Ovechkin galvanized the Capitals, who were facing a pivotal Game 5 rubber match against the Maple Leafs. Later in the game, Justin Williams would score the game winner in overtime, giving his team a 2-1 win and a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

The win will help fans of the team rest easy after the Maple Leafs sent a real charge into the series over the first four games, filled with dramatic overtime contests.

It would obviously be a disaster for the top team in the NHL during the regular season to go out in the first round against a young team making a return to the playoffs for the first time in several years.

It would only further play into the narrative that the Capitals choke when the postseason comes around and that they'll never be able to win a Stanley Cup with Ovechkin as their focal point. Washington will look to close out the series on Sunday night in Toronto, where they hope to defeat Nazem Kadri and abolish their playoff demons once and for all.

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