Six years ago today the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders faced off in what would be one of the more epic regular season games in recent history.
There’s some context to why “Fight Night” happened six years ago. During the 2011 season, nine games previous to this one, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins squared off. Two plays in particular ultimately lead to this massive night of fighting.
The second instance was with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro shoved Matt Cooke who was in the crease. A goalie fight broke out, Brent Johnson skated down and got into it with DiPietro.
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Johnson threw one punch that sent DiPietro to the ground. D.P. would miss six weeks due to a facial fracture and knee swelling.
This is what happened the next time the two teams played
Fights happened, a lot of fights…the Islanders played extremely physical against the Penguins that night. The first of many penalties was called on Michael Haley 2:37 into the game for roughing. He would also have the first fight of the game which happened halfway through the first period.
Matt Martin took down Maxime Talbot and the first full on brawl ensued. It seemed like everyone was involved. That wouldn’t be the only brawl of the game. At the beginning of the third period, another one broke out when Gillies elbowed Eric Tangradi.
By the end of the game, 65 penalties were issued. There were 15 fighting majors, 21 game misconducts for a combined total of 346 penalty minutes.
As for the scoring here’s what happened there
The Islanders got their revenge. They dominated the Penguins with the final score being 9-3. This has to be one of the more memorable February games in Islander history, just based on the context, the absurdity of the penalty minutes and by the final score.
It’s hard to believe this game was six years ago already. It doesn’t feel that long ago, but one thing remains certain, I still hate the Penguins.