The NHL returned to the ice this week with each team slated to play an exhibition game before the league's Stanley Cup Playoffs begin this weekend, During the Tampa Bay Lightning's 5-0 exhibition win over the Florida Panthers, forwards Brian Boyle and Mikhail Sergachev participated in the first fight since the NHL restarted play.
Boyle and Sergachev took turns slashing each other and exchanged words before dropping the gloves in the third period. The skirmish started after Boyle checked Sergachev in the corner then escalated as the two moved towards the net.
Both players got in plenty of swings during the fight before being split up.
It's also worth noting that Boyle and Sergachev do have a history. During a 2018 playoff game between the Devils and Lightning, Boyle, who was with the Devils at the time, ended up tripping Sergachev during the final minute of play and Sergachev became very animated as he shoved Boyle following the play. Both had to be escorted off the ice following the altercation.
"He tried to get under my skin, he said some bad words, I said some bad words," Sergachev said back in 2018. "That's playoff hockey."
It's certainly going to be interesting to see if there are many skirmishes during the Stanley Cup playoffs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.