"This was potentially pre-meditated" - P.K. Subban accuses Artemi Panarin of 'targeting' TJ Oshie in debate with Mark Messier

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Two
PK Subban accuses Artemi Panarin of 'targeting' TJ Oshie in debate with Mark Messier

Former NHLer P.K. Subban has accused the New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin of intentionally targeting the Washington Capitals' T.J. Oshie.

During Game 2 of the Rangers-Capitals playoff series on Tuesday night, Artemi Panarin delivered a high hit to Oshie near the boards, seemingly targeting his face.

The officials were quick to hit Panarin with a major penalty. However, upon reviewing the play, the penalty on Panarin was reversed.

After the hit, Oshie fell to the ice and had to be attended to by the team's trainer before leaving the game and heading to the locker room.

During the NHL on ESPN segment, P.K. Subban and Mark Messier debated about Panarin's hit on T.J. Oshie.

"There's head contact, whether it's his back or his shoulder; he didn't get the elbow up, but there's contact with his head," Subban said.

Subban strongly believed it was a targeted hit and said that both players got engaged in a heated argument beforehand:

"This is potentially pre-meditated. There was a talk between the two of them before. Don't tell me it's not targeted. He sees that it's Oshie. He's targeted and wants to hit him, and I love it. I love to compete in the game; that's the game, but you can't tell me Panarin didn't get the hit in the head; it should be at least a minor penalty," Subban added.

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The Capitals were relieved as T.J. Oshie managed to shake off the serious injury scare and return to play the rest of the game. The Caps ended up losing 4-3 to the Rangers in Game 2.

Mark Messier on Artemi Panarin's hit on T.J. Oshie in Game 2

Mark Messier, who spent a decade with the Blue Shirts and won a Stanley Cup in 1994, shared his viewpoint on Artemi Panarin's hit on Oshie.

Messier suggested that both teams could have valid arguments about the nature of the hit, with the Rangers seeing it as a body check and the Capitals viewing it as direct contact to head:

"This is one of those situations where possibly both teams could argue this point on both being right and have a legitimate case to argue mesh. If you're the Rangers, you're saying it was a body check like they saw on the ice. And of course, if you're the Capitals, you're saying there was a direct contact to the head," Mark Messier said.
"And when you watched the replay, there's a chance I don't try to be neutral here, but both teams could be right. I mean, it was. It was that close, and you can see it," Messier added.

As of now, the NHL Department of Player Safety has not issued any statements regarding the incident. Meanwhile, Artemi Panarin and the Rangers lead the Caps 2-0. Game 3 takes place in Washington on Friday.

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