ovechkin-alex-091023

Alex Ovechkin slew-footed Atlanta's Rich Peverley on Thursday. ((Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) )

Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin was fined by the NHL but avoided a suspension Friday after he slew-footed Atlanta's Rich Peverley a day earlier.

The incident happened in the final minute of the Caps' 5-4 victory over the Thrashers. Ovechkin was penalized for tripping on the play. Peverley wasn't hurt.

The league didn't disclose the amount Ovechkin was fined.

Anaheim's Evgeni Artyukhin was suspended three games by the NHL on Thursday for a similar incident. Artyukhin slew-footed Matt Niskanen of the Dallas Stars, who is listed as day-to-day with a head injury.

On the league's website, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell defended the discrepancies in how both slew-foots were treated.

"It is unfair to draw any parallels [about the two slew-foot incidents] other than the players that tripped both fell down," he said.

"Artyukhin was suspended [for two games] last season for a kneeing incident in which a player was injured. He was also fined during this pre-season for slew-footing a player who didn't have the puck.

"Fast forward three weeks, he, in our opinion, did slew-foot Matt Niskanen, causing Niskanen's skates to fly up well above the boards and half up the glass. It resulted in an injury for Niskanen and he has missed one game so far."

In contrast, Campbell said, Ovechkin wasn't a repeat offender and looked like he was "pushing the player's feet out trying to get the puck late in a close game," according to the website.

"We categorize that as a hockey play, but it is dangerous and that is why we fined him," he said. "And we still don't like either play."