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Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, shown tangling with Boston’s Chris Wagner, was fined $5,000 for a cheap shot on Boston’s Trent Frederic during Wednesday’s game. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Thursday for spearing Boston Bruins rookie Trent Frederic, an amount that is the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.

Ovechkin delivered a spear in an upward direction to Frederic’s groin with five minutes left in the third period Wednesday night in Boston. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for slashing, and Frederic was penalized for cross-checking.

Asked about the fine after practice Thursday, Frederic said: “It’s out of my pay grade. The NHL does a good job in all that stuff, so I just leave it up to them.”

The two players exchanged shoves minutes earlier after Frederic hit Ovechkin. Frederic dropped his gloves, but nothing transpired.

“I thought it was kind of natural,” Frederic said. “When I dropped him, he went in the boards weird, and when he got up, he wasn’t happy about it. The read I got was, ‘I don’t know if you want to fight me or what?’ So, that’s the read I had. Maybe (my gloves) came off a little quick. But just kind of protecting myself at the same time, too.”

Frederic and Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson fought during a game in Washington earlier this season. Bruins teammates credited Frederic for helping spark a comeback victory in that game.

The Capitals went on to win the Wednesday’s game in a shootout. Ovechkin had one of his most active games of the season with 16 shot attempts – five on goal – and six hits in over 23 minutes of ice time.

“He’s a big body, he plays hard, he finishes checks,” Frederic said. “He gives it out just as much as he takes it.”

Frederic said he was feeling fine and didn’t make much of his tangles with Ovechkin.

“I think I was just playing hard,” he said. “He’s a good player, so anytime you can get a good check on him, obviously you’re trying to do it. Just playing him hard. The respect I give him is just by playing him hard.”

DEVILS: New Jersey captain Nico Hischier broke his nose and sustained a concussion when he was hit in the shield of his helmet by a shot last weekend.

The Devils placed the 22-year-old Swiss center on injured reserve, retroactive to Feb. 27. He is being listed as week to week.

Hischier was hurt in the third period against the Washington Capitals on Saturday when a deflected puck that pushed the shield hard into his face. Coach Lindy Ruff reserved comment when asked about the injury in recent days, but the team said Thursday he has a sinus fracture and is in concussion protocol.

SHARKS: San Jose forward Joachim Blichfeld was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.

Blichfeld was called for a match penalty Wednesday night when he hit MacKinnon on the way to the bench in the third period of a 4-0 loss. MacKinnon didn’t return to the game, but Colorado Coach Jared Bednar said after the game he believed MacKinnon was not hurt seriously.

Blichfeld was playing his first game of the season and fourth of his career. He will forfeit nearly $13,000 in salary.

THURSDAY’S GAMES

ISLANDERS 5, SABRES 2: Matt Martin scored twice and New York beat visiting Buffalo in the opener of a three-game series.

Noah Dobson, Anthony Beauvillier and Jordan Eberle also scored for New York, and rookie Ilya Sorokin stopped 16 shots. The Islanders improved to 5-0-1 in their last six overall and 8-0-2 at the Nassau Coliseum to remain the only team without a regulation loss at home.

RANGERS 6, DEVILS 1: Chris Kreider recorded his second hat trick in five games and visiting New York won a game marred by a late injury to Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

Kreider, who scored three in a loss to Philadelphia on Feb. 24, has nine goals in his last six games and 13 overall. He completed his natural hat trick 23 seconds into the final period after scoring twice in the second. His fourth career hat trick came on five shots.

Shesterkin seemed to hurt his right leg with just under six minutes to play when he stretched to stop a 2-on-1 break and shot by Damon Severson. He went down without contact and had to be helped off the ice, dragging the leg.

FLYERS 4, PENGUINS 3: Claude Giroux scored his second goal of the night on a tap-in with 2:08 remaining and visiting Philadelphia recovered from an early Pittsburgh deluge.

The Flyers trailed by three following a 71-second first-period onslaught by Pittsburgh.

HURRICANES 5, RED WINGS 2: Jordan Staal and Jesper Fast scored early in the third period to help Carolina win at home.

Staal’s goal 45 seconds into the period broke a 2-all tie. Fast, who assisted on Staal’s goal when a shot attempt bounced off him to set up that rebound putaway, followed by finishing at the crease off a perfect pass from Andrei Svechnikov at 2:50.

JETS 4, CANADIENS 3: Pierre-Luc Dubois scored at 4:29 of overtime to give Winnipeg a victory at Montreal.

LIGHTNING 3, BLACKHAWKS 2: Victor Hedman scored 4:59 into overtime, with the puck barely over the line at the horn, and Tampa Bay won at Chicago for its sixth straight victory.

BLUE JACKETS 3, STARS 2: Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Eric Robinson added third-period goals, and Columbus won at Dallas.

PANTHERS 5, PREDATORS 4: Aaron Ekblad had two goals and two assists to lead Florida to a win at Nashville, Tennessee.

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