Skip to content

Pastrnak 'not afraid' of Tkachuk after fight in Game 2

Steve Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

The Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins' second-round series is starting to get a little spicy.

Star forwards David Pastrnak and Matthew Tkachuk dropped the gloves in the third period of a heated Game 2 with the Panthers holding a dominant 6-1 lead.

Fittingly, a fan threw a plastic rat onto the ice during the brawl, and it settled between the two combatants.

Tkachuk's father, Keith, approved of the clash between the two All-Stars, flashing a thumbs-up and a smile. The former NHL enforcer racked up 2,219 penalty minutes in 1,201 career NHL games.

Pastrnak only has one other career bout under his belt, according to Hockey Fights. He threw hands with Daniel Girardi in 2018. Tkachuk, meanwhile, was credited for two fights in the 2023-24 regular season alone.

"I’m not afraid of him, to be honest," Pastrnak said, per Bruins Daily "I can take a punch. I'd do anything for these guys here."

Pastrnak and Tkachuk agreed to go at each other prior to their shift, with the former checking in with head coach Jim Montgomery beforehand.

"I'm proud of Pasta," Montgomery told the media postgame, per NBC Sports Boston. "There's so many guys out there pushing after whistles when the linesmen are there. Pasta and Tkachuk, they just went out there and fought. That's what you like. You like your hockey players to be competitors."

Montgomery added that Pastrnak didn't ask him for permission to fight.

The Bruins opened the scoring in the first period, but it was all Florida the rest of the way. Captain Aleksander Barkov led the way with two goals and four points.

Eetu Luostarinen scored the Panthers' fourth goal on their 24th shot to chase Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman, who owned an incredible .955 save percentage and 1.42 goals-against average in seven appearances heading into Wednesday's clash.

Swayman's running mate, Linus Ullmark, didn't fare any better. Florida beat him twice on 10 shots, including a shorthanded tally by Brandon Montour, before the game descended into an all-out slugfest.

Montour stuck his tongue out at Brad Marchand after scoring, presumably in reference to the times the Bruins captain has licked his opponents' faces.

The Bruins and Panthers combined for 148 penalty minutes and 146 hits in the contest.

"I don't think there's gonna be any spillover into next game," Montgomery said. "It's two teams that are rivals. We played each other last year, playing each other this year. It's gonna be a series."

Game 3 is scheduled for Friday in Boston. The matchup is tied at one apiece.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox