Lost at the end of a wild Game 2 and hidden in a commercial break, was a pretty unlikely scrap between the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin and the Predators’ P.K. Subban.
This was born of frustration, as Mattias Ekholm jawed at and exchanged shoves with Malkin after a whistle, and then Ekholm’s blueline partner Subban wrapped up Malkin from behind. Some talking in the corner, Malkin reached past the linesman with a left jab, and then it was time to ask politely about fighting.
“I like (him), he’s a good player,” said Malkin. “He asked me ‘you want to fight?’ I don’t care. It was lots of emotion. Next game we forget that. It’s not my game to fight.”
But Subban said the chirping with Malkin had been going on all night, and claimed Malkin said something in Russian to him that set him off.
“I play with some Russians, too,” Subban said. “I didn’t like what he said, so I said something back to him and we went.”
It was not, as Malkin acknowledged, a pretty fight. More of a hug, really.
“It’s a bad fight,” Malkin said after the game. “We hold each other for a minute. I don’t want to fight with Subban. He approached me after the whistle, and I’m upset and I come to him and Subban come to me. It’s fine, I forgive him.”
They earned matching majors and Malkin was tagged with an additional roughing minor.