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Lightning’s Steven Stamkos, Maples Leafs’ Auston Matthews Brawl in Game 3

Chaos took over Game 3 of the first-round series between the Maple Leafs and Lightning. After Brayden Point was shaken up following a collision with Morgan Rielly, Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov could be seen flying in to defend his teammate, taking Toronto’s defenseman to the ice.

Meanwhile, Leafs and Bolts players began squaring up, including Auston Matthews and Steven Stamkos.

The two superstars were in each other’s faces when they began throwing haymakers at one another, with neither party holding back in the slightest.

Both players got some solid shots in before Stamkos was able to bring Matthews to the ground and the officials separated the two heated skaters. 

Stamkos is no stranger to dropping the gloves, having been involved in as many as six fights throughout his playing career. As for Matthews, it was some new territory for the Maple Leafs superstar, who had never fought in his career prior to Saturday’s scuffle with Stamkos.

Earlier this season, Matthews was challenged to fight by Flyers forward Travis Konecny, but was quickly pulled away by his teammates.

This time, Matthews was ready to go, and quickly fired off some punches at the face of Stamkos, who returned with some big blows of his own.

It’s a well-known fact that tensions rise to new heights in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and that was certainly the case for Matthews in his first career fight.

In terms of penalties, Matthews and Stamkos were each given five-minute majors for fighting. Additionally, Kucherov was assessed a roughing minor and had five minutes tacked on for fighting Maple Leafs’ Ryan O’Reilly (who was also penalized for fighting), while Rielly received a roughing violation.