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David Pastrnak and Matthew Tkachuk fight: Jim Montgomery is a proud Bruins forward

David Pastrnak and Matthew Tkachuk fight: Jim Montgomery is a proud Bruins forward

You could tell things were going to get out of hand when the Florida Panthers extended their lead in the third period of Game 2 of their series against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday and it all culminated in a battle between the two teams' stars.

With just over seven minutes left in the third period, Matthew Tkachuk and David Pastrnak were seen jumping onto the ice simultaneously and fans understood what was going to happen. Both players dropped their gloves and the Bruins forward quickly stumbled, but his opponent the Panthers continued to pummel him, hitting him hard at least twice as he was down.

Despite the outcome of the fight, Pastrnak felt he had to heed the call Tkachuk gave him from the Panthers' bench, even if he admitted he was uncomfortable in that type of situation.

“I don't have a lot of experience as a fighter. I've been down and I could have taken a better approach. I don't often find myself in that situation and I don't want to comment too much.”

“It was for the team. He asked me and I decided to go. It's hard to describe, the match is over.”

“During the match there are a lot of emotions. I'm not afraid of him, I can take a hit, I will do anything for the players here,” Pastrnak continued.

That streak certainly didn't change the final outcome of the game, a 6-1 win for the Panthers, but Bruins coach Jim Montgomery praised his player's courage for accepting Tkachuk's invitation to throw down the gloves.

“I'm proud of Pasta. There are a lot of players pressing after the whistle when the linesman is there. Pasta and Tkachuk simply went to fight. That's what you like, for your players to be competitors,” Montgomery said in a press conference.

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For the Panthers, Paul Morris appreciated the sequence just as two players were recognized for contributing more with their points than their fists.

“I think that's good. You have two elite players up front, Tkachuk is a 100-point player and Pastrnak is great, but these are the playoffs. They have their brothers on the bench and they want to go. I think it's unbelievable. It's over and everyone seems to be doing well.” Sorry if anyone is upset by this idea, but I thought it was amazing.

In this second game alone, 148 penalty minutes were called for both teams, including 77 minutes for the Bruins. Even if the phrase “set the table for the next game” is used frequently in the playoffs, the Bruins pilot does not necessarily believe the surplus will continue during the third quarter of the matchup.

“I don't think it's going to happen in the next game. They're rivals. We're playing them this year and there was the series last year as well,” Montgomery commented.

The answer will come Friday night on the ice at TD Garden.