Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Brawl boosts intensity of Lightning-Red Wings series (w/video)

TAMPA — After a chippy first game, Lightning coach Jon Cooper expected both teams to settle down as they settled into the first round of the playoffs.

"Clearly wrong," Cooper said.

That was obvious Friday night when 10 players were involved in a brawl with 53.2 seconds left in Tampa Bay's 5-2 victory over the Red Wings. The fight featured a six-player pileup in front of the Lightning net, six 10-minute misconduct penalties, a game misconduct and nine stitches on the face of Tampa Bay forward Mike Blunden.

More than 20 minutes after the final punch, Lightning players were still trying to sort it out.

"I was kind of in the mix of it," wing Ryan Callahan said. "I don't really know what happened."

The mayhem started after the Lightning scored three goals in an 11-minute span to turn a tie game into a 2-0 series lead. In the final minute, Brad Richards — the Red Wings forward, former Lightning star and former Lady Byng Trophy winner for sportsmanship — whacked his stick at defenseman Andrej Sustr's legs.

"He sent a message, even to myself, that he isn't taking no for an answer," Detroit forward Dylan Larkin said. "… We don't like each other very much. We sent a message that we're here to battle."

That battle was just beginning. Sustr and Richards started to fight. Everyone else flew in. Tampa Bay defenseman Nikita Nesterov hit Richards on the ice. Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader pummeled Blunden, whose visor split open his face. Abdelkader received a game misconduct penalty.

"I think that's not smart for their guy," said forward Cedric Paquette, one of three Tampa Bay players given 10-minute misconducts. "When there's a guy lying on the ice like that, you respect the opponent. I don't think he did."

Blunden shrugged it off as just part of the postseason and a fun talking point for fans.

"It's hockey," Blunden said. "We're in a battle. We're battling out there. Just part of the game."

And clearly part of this series.

Both teams were feisty in Game 1, but the intensity far exceeded chippiness Friday. When Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall leveled Ondrej Palat with a hit to the head midway through the second period, Callahan flew at Kronwall to start a fight that sent Drouin, Victor Hedman and Detroit's Riley Sheahan to the penalty box.

After two fierce games, both teams expect Friday's final minute to carry over to Detroit.

"It's going to be an intense game, like it was (Friday) or two nights ago," Paquette said. "I don't expect any different."

Contact Matt Baker at [email protected]. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Comments
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Published: 06/19/18
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Published: 06/19/18
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18
Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

LAS VEGAS — Before Devante Smith-Pelly could relax or breathe or even start thinking about his game-tying goal, he had to start moving his feet.The period of recall began midway through the third period Thursday night, when the Capitals trailed, 3-2....
Published: 06/08/18
Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

The Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup title in the franchise's 43-year history Thursday night in Las Vegas.And still the St. Louis Blues and their fans wait. The Blues marked their 50th NHL season this year; 50 years without a Cup.He...
Published: 06/08/18