It was already ugly on the scoreboard, but it got really ugly on the ice when the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals engaged in a full line brawl that included both goaltenders dropping the gloves.
The whole thing started when Wayne Simmonds turned into a human wrecking ball the next shift after Washington scored to make it 7-0. He and Tom Wilson dropped the gloves. Then a few other players squared off, then Flyers goaltender Ray Emery made a beeline for Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who appeared to have no interest in dropping the gloves.
It didn't matter. Emery wouldn't take no for an answer. The two goalies squared off and Emery let Holtby have it. If you're not aware, Emery's not new to this. He had been in two previous fights and is known as an exceptional scrapper among goalies.
Among the other fights on the ice, Steve Oleksy vs. Vincent Lecavalier and Alexander Urbom vs. Brayden Schenn. Emery got an extra two minor penalties for leaving his crease and an instigator, on top of a game misconduct.
Since Holtby was given no choice in the fight, he was not tossed out of the game and was actually allowed to stay in net despite earning a five-minute major for fighting. The fact he was able to keep playing after taking a few good shots from Emery is a bit of a surprise.
The entire fracas resulted in a total of 114 minutes in penalties.
Really, the Flyers were sick of getting pushed around and wanted to make a statement. The game was out of hand and they wanted to at least let the Capitals know they weren't going to take the beating laying down. But is this really going to make a difference?
It's pretty embarrassing that a game completely out of hand would just devolve into basically a street brawl. Emery had no reason to go after Holtby like that. Expect this to get an extra look from the Department of Player Safety. It may not result in anything, but this is the kind of thing the league seems to want to avoid.
Even more embarrassingly, Emery was named the third star of the game. He gave up four goals on 15 shots. Sheesh.
The Caps held onto their 7-0 lead for the win. It's not often you see the visiting team's goalie get into a fight and maintain a shutout as well. Wonder which battle Holtby cares about more.
It seems the Flyers fans appreciated it, though. At least they got something for their money because the Flyers certainly weren't playing hockey Friday night.