Sens and Blues Respond with their Fists
(4/15/12) After Rangers' tough guy Brian Boyle went after Erik Karlsson in Game 1, Ottawa responded loud and clear in Game 2 by not only dressing all of their enforcers, but by dropping the gloves and instigating fights.
With just over 2 minutes gone in the first period it started. Matt Carkner literally jumped Brian Boyle and used his head as a punching bag, walloping the Rangers' tough guy repeatedly before Boyle even knew what was going on. Brandon Dubinsky came to Boyle's rescue, but he was handed a game misconduct for being the third man into the "altercation." It's easy to argue that Carkner and Boyle were not in an altercation because Boyle didn't seem to know what was going on until he was on the ice receiving his lunch in the form of a buffet of knuckle sandwiches. Boyle didn't receive a penalty on the play, while Carkner was ejected.
Zenon Konopka and Chris Neil were chirping at the Rangers all game, and eventually Boyle had to respond, this time with Chris Neil. Both players received major penalties for fighting. All told, the Senators completely changed the tone of the series, removed the Rangers' usual scorers from the equation, and took the game 3-2 in OT on a goal by none other than Chris Neil. The Rangers must respond if they want to swing this series back their way.
In St. Louis, the Blues forced the Sharks to adapt to life on land (Havlat who?). Obviously the tougher team, the Blues brought their physical game against the Sharks in Game 2. (The contest made the PIMs total from the Sens/Rangers' game look like peanuts.) The end of the game deteriorated into an all out brawl, and when the dust settled 147 total penalty minutes had been handed out. No less than 6 major penalties were levied at the 20:00 minute mark of the third period - 8 were handed out in total.