All hell broke loose in Boston on Thursday night.
The Boston Bruins were facing off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night and the game had a playoff atmosphere from the very beginning, and for good reason as well. Both of these teams are secure in the fact that they will be making it to the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup playoffs but on Thursday night there were locked in a heated battle for position in the standings. A win for Boston would mean that they would leapfrog the Lightning in the standings, a move that would directly impact the first round playoff match ups for both sides.
Needless to say as a result tensions in this game were extremely high and it showed very early on with plenty of pushing and shoving from both teams after the whistle, although true to their reputation the Bruins seemed to be doing a large portion of the agitating on the ice. That however was taken to the next level a little over midway through the second period when Boston Bruins veteran goaltender Tuukka Rask decided he was going to send a message that his teammates weren't stepping up on his behalf to do.
There was exactly 8:44 left on the clock in the second period when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher went charging to the Boston net, without the puck mind you, and he caused quite the pile up both inside the night, as well as quite the collision with the Bruins goaltender himself. As Cory Conacher was charging to the net he appeared to interfere with young Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, delivering a body check to Carlo who wasn't anywhere near the puck at the time, a check that sent Carlo crashing into the aforementioned Tuukka Rask.
Now the Bruins veteran netminder would have likely been rather upset at just Carlo being sent crashing into him, but that wasn't all that Conacher did on this particular player. The Lightning center not only smashed into Carlo on the play, but he then followed him into the Bruins net, falling on top of him and largely preventing him from getting back up as all three men ended up tangled with Rask. That was all it took for Tuukka Rask to completely blow a gasket.
The Bruins goalie was furious, and he immediately got back up and went after Conacher in rather aggressive fashion. Despite the fact that Conacher appeared ready to take on Rask he seemed completely overwhelmed when the Bruins goalie actually began to throw some leather in his direction, hitting Conacher with multiple punches. Conacher looked like he wanted to retaliate to the blows but he seemed far too busy defending himself and eventually a few more Bruins charged in to take him down to the ice.
Rask though wasn't the only angry goalie on the ice. Seeing Tuukka Rask take advantage of his teasmmate, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy came charging down the ice and immediately wanted him a piece of Rask. Unfortunately the NHL officials stepped in between the two men, and perhaps fortunately for Rask who looked like he wanted no part of the angry Vasilevskiy.