The Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs spent most of the third period hitting, grabbing, shoving, and fighting each other Saturday. The anger eventually boiled over into a line brawl.
As Vancouver carried the puck with about 13 minutes left in the third, Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly lit up Canucks winger Jannik Hansen. Seconds later, Nazem Kadri launched himself into the head of Daniel Sedin, who scored Vancouver’s third goal of the night as he fell to the ice. Hansen, who hadn’t been hurt on his hit, skated to Kadri and fought him. Kadri received two majors for charging and fighting, as well as a game misconduct; Hansen got a minor for instigating a fight, a fighting major, and a game misconduct.
The next event, with about eight minutes left in the period, wasn’t as dramatic, but it did set the stage for the finale. Vancouver’s Derek Dorsett took on Leo Komarov after the faceoff in what was a short and uninteresting fight. As officials escorted Dorsett off the ice, Toronto’s Matt Martin taunted him from the bench. Dorsett pretended as if he was definitely about to skate over and fight him, but didn’t. Dorsett received a minor for instigating and a game misconduct; both he and Komarov each got a major for fighting.
A few seconds of game time later, Canucks winger Alex Burrows pretended to slip on the ice, and jabbed Rielly with his stick as he did. Rielly returned to the ice and said either “vacuum” or “fuck you” at Burrows; Burrows skated at Rielly after the faceoff and the two fell to the ice almost immediately.
Everyone settled down—for a couple of minutes, at least. The line brawl began with five minutes left after Martin picked on Canucks rookie defenseman Troy Stecher. Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller and a couple of Canucks came to the rescue and jumped on Martin. Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen must have felt lonely, because he skated from his crease to jump into the fray.
Miller, Andersen, Martin, and Brendan Gaunce got tossed. Both teams had to resort to backup goalies. The Canucks lost their eighth straight game, 6-3. Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews, who smartly spent most of his time during the line brawl floating around or being held with Stecher’s free hand, sang along with Bon Jovi on the bench:
H/t to Justin