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Fight breaks out after Aube-Kubel’s head shot on Foote in Lightning-Capitals game


WASHINGTON (AP) — A brawl nearly erupted and a fight broke out during a video review of a head shot early in the second period of the Tampa Bay Lightning ’s game at the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

Patrick Maroon fought Garnet Hathaway while officials were looking at Capitals forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel’s illegal check to the head of Lightning defenseman Cal Foote. A handful of other players were involved in the initial scrum, and they exchanged some pushes and shoves around the fight once Tampa Bay’s Maroon and Washington’s Hathaway got tangled up.

Nick Paul hopped off the bench for a second before being urged back by Lightning teammates to avoid what would have been an automatic 10-game suspension.

The Lightning announced Foote would not return.

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Aube-Kubel was ejected and assessed a match penalty, which is an automatic suspension pending review by the NHL’s department of player safety. If suspended, he’d miss at least the second half of these teams’ home-and-home series Sunday, if not more.

The Capitals killed off all five minutes, and Sonny Milano — who was serving Aubel-Kubel’s penalty — scored coming out of the box on a breakaway 7 seconds after the Lightning power play expired.

Maroon, one of four players in league history to win the Stanley Cup in three consecutive seasons with two different teams, and Washington’s Hathaway each got five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

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