September 26, 2010
It may not have been Vincent Lecavalier(notes) and Jarome Iginla(notes) tossing bombs during Game 3 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, but it's not every day you see two of the NHL's top stars scrap, especially during the preseason.
That's exactly what happened Saturday night in Pittsburgh during a fight-filled game between the Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. In Pittsburgh's 3-1 victory, there were five fights and 72 penalty minutes handed out in total, with three tilts and 44 PIMs coming in the third period.
Kris Letang(notes) and Jakob Voracek provided a decent undercard matchup after two heavyweights, Jared Boll(notes) and Eric Godard(notes), squared off in the second period. But the main event came with 2:23 remaining in the game. Twenty seconds after Arron Asham(notes) provided the insurance marker for Pittsburgh, Malkin and Nash got to talking:
Kind of what you'd expect out of two top scorers: plenty of grabbing, then some haymakers as one is trying to defend himself with his jersey over his head.
Nash entered the game with five career fights according to Hockey Fights.com,while Malkin's last tussle was the post-whistle scrap with Henrik Zetterberg(notes) in Game 2 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final.
Is this a sign of the new rough and tumble Penguins we've heard so much about since they signed Asham? In three preseason games, Pittsburgh has racked up 97 PIMs, with 57 of them coming again Columbus in their home-and-home series. Kind of makes you wonder how intense this rivalry would be if the Blue Jackets were ever moved to the Eastern Conference and had to face their close neighbors in Pittsburgh four to six times a season.