What started as a promising road trip wound up being “pretty average” in the words of Sharks captain Joe Pavelski.

After winning the first two games of their East Coast trip, the Sharks dropped back-to-back games to the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals, finishing with a 2-2 record.

Here’s what we learned as the Sharks lost a chippy 4-1 game to the Capitals Monday night.

1. The Sharks take exception to the Capitals decision to fight Joe Thornton.

Pete DeBoer let the Capitals bench know how he felt about their decision to engage Thornton in a fight early in the third period and he didn’t hold back when he spoke with reporters after the game.

DeBoer took issue with the fact that Tom Wilson initiated a fight with Thornton at 2:14 of the third in response to a hit that he put on T.J. Oshie with 3:27 left in the second, knocking him out of the game.

“If someone were to grab Joe in the heat of the moment after the play because they thought a liberty was taken, then I’ve got no problem with that,” the Sharks coach said. “But to go into the dressing room, think about it, come out in the first shift and do that premeditated crap is just garbage.”

Thornton turned and hit Oshie with his backside as the Capitals forward was falling to the ice after making contact with Logan Couture.

By the time that Thornton hit Oshie, the Capitals forward was down on the ice, resulting in a hip-to-head collision into the glass. Oshie spent a couple minutes on the ice before leaving the game with an “upper-body” injury.