Lightning-Stars bad blood heats up in Game 2

A scrum in the second period draws a combined five penalties between the teams.
Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning players rough it up during second-period action in Edmonton on Monday night.
Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning players rough it up during second-period action in Edmonton on Monday night. [ JASON FRANSON | The Canadian Press via AP ]
Published Sept. 22, 2020

It’s wasn’t the Lightning against Boston on the ice. And it wasn’t the Stars against St. Louis, either. But looking at the mid-game scrum that ensued between the Lightning and Stars in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, you would have thought a pair of conference rivals were going at it.

Tampa Bay’s Pat Maroon, Cedric Paquette and Victor Hedman piled into the penalty box across from Dallas' John Klingberg and Corey Perry after the late second-period scrum between the teams Monday night in Edmonton.

Related: No Lightning players win individual awards this year

The scrum began after Maroon made an attempt to score on Dallas' Anton Khudobin. Players gathered at the Stars' net while Hedman and Perry found themselves mouthing off at each other on the side.

Paquette skated up and put his left arm between the two before grabbing Perry’s jersey at the neck. An official broke up the players before any hits were thrown, but it wasn’t enough to stop what happened next.

Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk shoved Perry away from his teammates and as Hedman skated away, Dallas' Klingberg shoved the Lightning defenseman. Paquette took exception and grabbed Klingberg by the back of his jersey.

Then a scrum ensued. Hedman stepped in to fight with Klingberg while Perry grabbed at Paquette, eventually getting the Lightning forward in a headlock.

Related: Lightning’s Carter Verhaeghe, Jan Rutta back in action for Game 2

Maroon was called for interference on Khudobin while the other four players were called for roughing in the Lightning’s 3-2 win.

Earlier in the game, Yanni Gourde took exception to Jamie Oleksiak’s hit on Lightning forward Blake Coleman. The Dallas defenseman sent Coleman flying into the glass after he had passed the puck. Coleman was down on the ice and slow to get back up, holding his head, after the hit. He went down the tunnel to the dressing room for a few minutes, but was able to return.

Oleksiak was not called for the hit on Coleman, so Gourde shoved him into the glass. But Oleksiak did not engage, instead drawing a cross-checking penalty from Gourde.

The bad blood has heated up significantly between the two teams since Saturdays' 4-1 win for Dallas. On Saturday night, only two roughing penalties were called. That number doubled Monday night.

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Milestone night

Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his 30th postseason win in 54 career games. Only three active goaltenders have needed fewer games to reach 30 wins in the playoffs (Marc-Andre Fleury with 48, Corey Crawford with 50 and Tuukka Rask with 52).

Vasilevskiy made 27 saves on 29 shots Monday, helping extend the Lightning’s perfect record to 6-0 for wins following a loss. Former Lightning goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is the only one in the league’s history to post seven comeback wins in a single postseason.

Monday night marked the seventh multi-point game of the 2020 postseason for right wing Nikita Kucherov. For his career, it was his 25th, surpassing Martin St. Louis for most in the franchise’s history.

Kucherov’s double-assist night moved ties him with Boston’s Rick Middleton (set in 1983) for most assists (22) by a winger in a playoff season. He is only behind Pittsburgh’s Mark Recchi (24 set in 1991).

Kucherov’s 28 points in this postseason surpasses Brad Richards' single-postseason record for most in franchise history. Brayden Point’s first-period goal ties him with Richards for second at 26 points.

Hedman’s two-assist night moved his assist total to 49 in his postseason career. He trails Duncan Keith (68), Kris Letang (59) and Zdeno Chara (52) for the most assists among active defensemen.

Up next

at Dallas, 8 p.m. Wednesday

Rogers Place, Edmonton

TV/radio: NBCSN, 970-AM

Contact Mari Faiello at Follow @faiello_mari.