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Things got ugly in a hurry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers when Pens forward Jason Zucker collided with Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
Was it on purpose? Who was at fault? Did it cause a scene?
The answer to those questions are as follows: I don’t know, depends on who you ask, and finally, yes.
It happened with the Penguins trailing the Cats 4-1 and just under 10 minutes to play in regulation. Zucker chipped a puck into the Florida zone and gave chase, skating past both Panthers defensemen in the process.
Bobrovsky skated a few feet out of his crease to corral the puck. He then tried to clear the puck off the glass and out of the zone, and he more or less did that.
The only problem was he wound up sprawled on the ice after Zucker plowed into him on the way by.
Things Went Nuts After The Hit On Bobrovsky
Bobrovsky’s mask went flying and every guy in a red jersey including Bobrovsky himself raced to the corner hoping to get a piece of Zucker. Just about every Penguin on the ice followed suit and with that, we had a full-on donnybrook.
It could’ve been one notch crazier still. After the game, Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith said he considered racing down ice to help even things up for his boys.
Aw, man… think of the fans, stripes.
It’s tough to say whether that looked intentional or not. If you ask a Panthers fan they’ll say it was filthy, and Pens fans will say Zucker did nothing wrong.
Given the Pens were down 4-1 and ultimately outshot 42-32, the frustration would’ve been there to do something dumb like take a run at the goalie.
That said, I think it looked like a pretty bang-bang play from Zucker reaching to sweep the puck away from Bobrovsky to the moment of contact. I don’t think it was totally intentional, but I don’t think he tried to avoid it very much either. Frankly, that may have simply been because he didn’t have time.
Believe me, it kills me to not just say “This is another example of absolute scumbaggery from the Penguins, as per usual.”
I’m trying to uphold some level of objectivity here
As previously mentioned, the Panthers got the last laugh and took a 4-1 win, buoyed by a solid performance from Bobrovsky. 31 saves on 32 shots, and took quite a hit too.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle