There were plenty of fireworks the last time Pittsburgh and Winnipeg played.
Tonight, when they meet for the first time since, there could be plenty more.
Pittsburgh will insert tough guy Tom Sestito into the lineup, after recalling him from the minors. The move is (presumably) in response to everything that occurred on Feb. 16, including Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Jets captain Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien’s hit on Pens d-man Justin Schultz, which left the latter with a concussion.
The Jets, of course, are desperately fighting to remain in playoff contention, so they’re insisting the focus is solely on securing two points. But at the same time, they were visibly frustrated after Malkin escaped punishment for the Wheeler hit, only for Jacob Trouba to get suspended days later for his hit on Mark Stone.
Then, after the Trouba-Stone incident, Winnipeg d-man Ben Chiarot voiced his displeasure with a high hit from Toronto’s Nazem Kadri, which also went unpunished.
“Might not be this year, might not be next year,” Chiarot warned. “But there will be a time where the shoe will be on the other foot.”
It’s probably worth noting the game on the 16th was in Pittsburgh.
Tonight’s rematch is in Winnipeg.