Ovechkin welcomes Karlsson to the rivalry with a huge hit.

Ovechkin welcomes Karlsson to the rivalry with a huge hit.

Alex Ovechkin welcomed the newest member of the Pens/Caps rivalry with a huge hit on Friday night.

Jonathan Larivee

On Friday night the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins renewed their long standing rivalry, and the newest member of that rivalry got his first taste of just how fierce it can be.

Despite his many years of experience in the National Hockey League, Friday night was the first taste of the Caps/Pens rivalry for veteran defenseman Erik Karlsson and he was welcomed to that rivalry by none other than Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin himself.

During the game's second period, with the Penguins already holding a 2-0 lead, Ovechkin tried to spark some life into his team by delivering a huge hit to Karlsson at center ice. Ovechkin caught Karlsson staring at the puck and leveled him with a heavy hit right as Karlsson crossed center ice, taking the defenseman right out of the play.

The hit however also knocked Ovechkin out of the play by throwing him off balance, and to Karlsson's credit he bounced right back up after absorbing the impact. Unfortunately for Ovechkin it also failed to spark any life into his team, with the Penguins taking the first matchup between these two bitter rivals in dominant fashion with a final score of 4-0.