The first period of Game 2 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings featured some chippy moments, with quite a few of them going against Los Angeles – much like the 2-0 score.
Kings fans must have entered the first intermission especially nervous as Drew Doughty was clearly favoring his leg following this trip by Bryan Bickell:
Doughty is second to only Zdeno Chara among active players in average time on ice with almost 28 minutes per night, so losing the gifted 23-year-old defenseman would have been especially tough since the Kings are already without Mike Richards.
The good news is that Doughty was on the ice for the remainder of the minor penalty Bickell received as a part of Los Angeles’ power-play unit, so it seems like he’s OK.
(We’ll find out soon enough if he’s fine or just Darryl Sutter fine, however.)
Note: the Blackhawks had a hold-their-breath moment, too, as Corey Crawford was bumped behind his net:
Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.
In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.
Many believe that hit was legal:
The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.
In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.
This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.
That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:
(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)
Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.
Other than putting an icebag over his nose, Jonathan Drouin seemed fine post-game. "He's a warrior," goalie Ben Bishop said.