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“There’s going to be a lot of stitches and blood before this series is over,” Ottawa Senators Forward Zenon Konopka told Newsday after his team's 3-2 overtime win.
And after last night’s war of attrition between the Senators and New York Rangers it’s a safe bet that he’s right. There is no love lost between these two teams and it will only get more physical as the series heads back to Ottawa for Game 3.
From the start last night’s game, it had all the signs that this game would get ugly. In a move to try and intimidate New York, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean sent out his tough guys Konopka, Chris Neil and Matt Carkner. John Tortorella countered with Brandon Prust, Mike Rupp and Stu Bickel.
While a brawl didn’t start right off the opening faceoff, it only took 2:15 into the game for something to happen.
Carkner went out of his way to assault Brian Boyle (See Video: Rangers/Senators melee), in retaliation for Boyle throwing a few light gloved punches to the head of Erik Karlsson in Game 1 of the series. It was an absolute mugging on Boyle at the hands of Carkner who, after checking him into the boards, threw off his right glove and sucker punched Boyle.
The thugery continued as the Senators tough guy continued his assault on a vulnerable and defenseless Boyle, that is, until Brandon Dubinsky jumped in to help his teammate followed by other players coming over to help.
Carkner was given two minutes for roughing, five minutes for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Dubinsky was also given a game misconduct along with a two-minute roughing penalty for his part in the scrum.
Boyle again was involved in a fight later in the period, voluntarily this time, with Chris Neil.
Then later in the first Chris Phillips hit Ryan Callahan in the head with an elbow. Phillips went to the box for two minutes. Then in the second period, Carl Hagelin caught Daniel Alfredsson with an elbow that forced the Senators’ forward to miss the rest of the game and there is concern that Alfredsson may have concussion because it. Hagelin was given a five minute major for his elbow.
It should be a no brainer that the NHL will be handing out some suspensions, maybe even a fine or two, for last night’s incidents during the game. If there weren’t, it would be despicable on the part of the league.
The Senators tried to show the Rangers that they shouldn’t be taken lightly. They set the tone right from the start and the Sens used their physicality to throw the Rangers off their game.
After getting outplayed in game one, Ottawa responded by turning up the intensity, and taking advantage of a few fortunate bounces.
The two sides will a have a few days off before lacing up the skates and taking the ice in Ottawa, but you can bet that their more bad blood once the puck is dropped.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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