Pretty amusing scene in Florida last night during the Panthers’ 6-4 win over Pittsburgh — early in the second period, Florida forward Tomas Kopecky scored his second of three goals on the night, setting off this melee with Pens goalie Tomas Vokoun:
Both got roughing penalties on the play (Kopecky actually got a double-minor) and Vokoun was yanked about five minutes later.
It made for a wild sequence of events, one the pair can discuss over lemonade some time.
To explain, here’s George Richards of the Miami Herald:
Soon after Kopecky scored his second goal, Vokoun took offense to his skating partner — and west Broward neighbor — from the lockout days in Pompano Beach making contact in front of the net.
With Kopecky on the ice, Vokoun threw a few punches. The scrum moved to the corner where Vokoun again tossed some jabs. Florida, up 2-1 at the time, had to go on the penalty kill as Kopecky was given two minor penalties to Vokoun’s one.
“Brooks Orpik crashed into me from behind, and I lost my balance. I bumped into him,” Kopecky said. “Then all I see is his big blocker [glove] coming at me. Obviously, I’ll take punches and pay the price, but not cheap shots. I kept pushing him.
“He’s my neighbor, I’ve gotten to know he his family pretty good. But he didn’t hold back. I’m not going to either.”
There appears to be no truth to the rumor that, following the game, Kopecky took his dog for a walk in Vokoun’s yard.
Update: Richards reports the two exchanged text messages last night, and all is well.