The Carolina Hurricanes first went about settling old scores with the New York Rangers.
The Rangers and Canes wasted little time getting down to business Tuesday. The two teams racked up a total of 66 penalty minutes in the first period. Interestingly, the rest of the game saw just four minor penalties.
|• 8 minor penalties|
|• 6 fighting majors|
|• One 10-minute misconduct|
|• One game misconduct|
Then they got down to concentrating on the scoreboard.
"That's exactly what we needed to do," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said of the physical play. "We talked about everything before the game. Whatever game was going to be played tonight, we were going to be ready."
New York had won two in a row overall before the All-Star break but has lost six in a row on the road.
"Tough loss," Lundqvist said. "We were really looking forward to coming back and getting a good start."
The first period featured 66 minutes in penalties.
The physical play boiled over when Walker drove New York's Scott Gomez into the boards a little over four minutes into the game. Avery came after Walker, which started a melee that entangled all 10 players on the ice. Gleason was ejected because he was the third man in on the Avery-Walker scrum. Avery received a 10-minute misconduct.
Later in the period, Brookbank and Orr dropped the gloves for a second time.
"[The first-period fights] let guys know we were going to do whatever it takes to win," Walker said. "Then the gifted guys on our team could say, 'I'll have more freedom to do what I want.'"
The rough stuff between the teams wasn't a complete surprise. In a game in New York on Dec. 26, Orr leveled Carolina's Matt Cullen with a hit that left Cullen with a concussion. Avery also punched the Hurricanes' Andrew Ladd while Ladd was being restrained by an official, breaking a bone underneath Ladd's eye in the process.