The Battle of Alberta revved up with a goalie fight and a near line brawl during the second period of Saturday night’s Edmonton Oilers-Calgary Flames game.
You could see it coming.
After all, on Jan. 11, Edmonton’s Zack Kassian was suspended two games for going after Flames star Matthew Tkachuk after the Oilers forward objected to two big hits.
Then on Wednesday night, there were two fights, including a highly anticipated Kassian-Tkachuk rematch.
And Saturday’s game was a 6-3 blowout in favor of the Oilers that already featured a fight between Calgary’s Buddy Robinson and Edmonton’s Jujhar Khaira.
So when Oilers forward Sam Gagner dived after a puck and poked Flames goalie Cam Talbot with his stick, chaos erupted.
While Calgary’s Mark Giordano sought revenge, Tkachuk and Ethan Bear traded punches and others scuffled, Oilers goalie Mike Smith skated to center ice because he didn’t like that Talbot was throwing “some blockers.”
Talbot obliged and skated out to Smith, and the goalies, who played for the other team last season, dropped the gloves. Smith had a 2008 fight under his belt, and it was the first NHL fight for Talbot.
There were 50 penalty minutes called, including game misconducts to both goalies. The on-ice officials decided to stop play and tack the remaining 24 seconds onto the start of the third period. The Oilers added two more goals on the night for an eventual 8-3 win.
Talbot said he didn’t expect to get thrown out of the game and felt bad that goalie David Rittich, who was pulled earlier, had to come back in net.
“I didn’t like the fact that (Gagner) comes in and spears me when I’m on my back after the whistle, so in a game like that, things just kind of set you off and I reacted accordingly,” he told reporters. “Probably not the smartest reaction on my part, but it was a highly emotional game, and my emotions got the best of me.”