Fight: Oilers’ Lucic, Devils’ Gabriel engage in marathon slugfest

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Fights are few and far between these days. They just don’t happen with the same regularity as they used to.

The scarcity also means less and less are we seeing two combatants engaging in a lengthy battle. Often, the gloves drop, a couple of haymakers are thrown, someone loses their footing and they’re patting each other on the back.

“Good job, buddy.”

Edmonton Oilers tough guy Milan Lucic and New Jersey Devils thorn-in-the-side Kurtis Gabriel didn’t exchange pleasantries after their battle Wednesday Night Hockey — maybe, perhaps, because they were just too gassed to do so.

Lucic and Gabriel went back and forth for a full minute before Lucic had enough. To Gabriel’s credit, he looked as if he could have gone a few more rounds. He seemed to get better as the fight played out, with Lucic running out of steam near the end. Hard to blame him, Gabriel was sticking him with the left jab pretty good. Lucic popped Gabriel’s helmet off with a hard right hand earlier in the bout.

Most don’t want a piece of Lucic but Gabriel seemed motivated by the challenge. The two had been pestering each other earlier in the game.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck