Emotions came to a game-ending explosion between the Vegas Golden Knights and New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
With just 15 seconds remaining, all hell broke loose when Devils defenceman Mason Geertsen sought out Knights blueliner Alex Pietrangelo behind the play, looking to demonstrate some fight as New Jersey went down 5-3 for its fourth-consecutive loss.
Afterwards, a team-combining scrum was formed. Geertsen was at the centre of it, eventually having to be pulled off the ice by the officials.
And then Vegas netminder Robin Lehner decided to push the physicality further.
Rough stuff at the end of VGK/NJD. Robin Lehner gets thrown out pic.twitter.com/Cky0SSMEsQ
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 17, 2021
Lehner stripped down for a more even bout with Michael McLeod, but nothing came to fruition. Pietrangelo, Geertsen, and Lehner were assessed misconduct penalties and were ejected from the game.
“It’s a little blurry right now but everybody started to grab each other. Janmark isn’t a fighter, and the guy dropped his gloves and grabbed him,” Lehner said. “I tried to grab the ones that were showing they were tough but they didn’t really accept it.”
One other Golden Knights player blames Devils head coach Lindy Ruff’s decision to put out Geertsen in a particular spot for the likely final faceoff of the game.
“I think it was some bulls***,” Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault said after the game. “He was just probably mad that Jack Hughes got hit there and nothing happened in the moment. At the end of the day that guy is the one who gave up that fourth goal, so I think it’s kind of gutless. You put a defenseman, a tough guy, to line up at forward when there’s 25 seconds left. That’s sh***y, but that’s what those older, veteran coaches do sometimes.”
The two teams went back and forth at each other throughout the match, including a massive hit on Hughes. And what is a physical game without some controversy?
We will have to wait until April 18 for the next time these two teams face each other. For our entertainment, we hope that they have long memories.
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