The Pittsburgh Penguins had a streaky period with good scoring chances but also gave up a few in the first period on Monday night against the New York Rangers. But the first period ended in an unexpected way when Kasperi Kapanen dropped the gloves with New York defenseman Brett Howden.
It wasn’t worthy of Don Cherry’s Rock ’em Sock ’em 6, but Kapanen stood up for his teammates being lumbered in front of the net.
The Penguins were on the power play at the end of the period and when the buzzer sounded, things escalated. Kapanen and Brett Howden went at it. Kapanen couldn’t get his gloves off as Howden peppered him a few times. Here’s a video of the fight:
It looked like before the fight broke out, Kasperi Kapanen was going for New York defenseman Adam Fox before Howden stepped in. Both players got assessed five-minute majors for fighting and will serve that in the second period. The Pittsburgh Penguins finished the abbreviated power at the start of the second period.
As for the rest of the first period, the Penguins got the lone goal, thanks to Jason Zucker. He was able to corral a puck from the boards behind the net and stuff it past Igor Shesterkin. It was Zucker’s third goal of the season and his third goal in the last four games.
This is just the third time this season that the Penguins have had a lead going into the second. Their previous two also came against the Rangers (Jan. 22, Jan. 30). They’re also doing this without five defensemen, including Kris Letang. He’s missing his first game of the season and is considered day-to-day per Mike Sullivan.
The Penguins is also looking to get their first multi-goal lead of the season in this game, plus the win. They’d get to 6-3-1 on the season with the victory, which would keep them in playoff position.