Emotions tend to run high in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the NHL’s first round matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning is growing even more contentious than your typical series.
The bad blood was established during Friday night’s Game 2, when a wild brawl broke out towards the end of the game and several players exchanged blows. Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader was the most active participant in the shenanigans, and he received some heat for wailing on a somewhat defenseless Mike Blunden, who was seriously bloodied and needed stitches as a result.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Abdelkader found himself a target during Sunday’s Game 3 in Detroit, but he never actually had to drop the gloves to answer for his actions from the previous game. It wasn’t for a lack of effort on Brian Boyle’s part, however, as the Lightning forward did his best to try to fight Abdelkader immediately following the Wings’ 2-0 win.
Despite being engaged by Boyle, Abdelkader wouldn’t fully commit to dropping the gloves, instead alerting a nearby official that he wasn’t exactly interested in a battle of fisticuffs.
Boyle did not like this move one bit and, after finally giving up and skating away, he mocked Abdelkader with a chicken gesture.