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The Fists Fly In Pittsburgh

Want a playoffs preview? You couldn’t script this any better. Two division rivals representing cities that hate each other anyway, fighting in the standings (4th and 5th in the East). You knew this would happen. A circus like this was well in the making all year long, but the biggest line brawl of the 2011-2012 NHL season was likely initially brewing after Flyer rookie Brayden Schenn cross-checked recently activated Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby. With the game out of reach, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma set his hitting line out on the ice. Coach Peter Laviolette of the Flyers called the move “gutless” and in ensuing events, challenged Bylsma to a scrap. All it took was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit by Joe Vatalie of Pittsburgh on Philadelphia’s Danny Briere to engulf the Consol Energy Center in fist-flying flames. Let’s hope these two hockey clubs square off in round one. That’s nearing inevitable.

The Tri-City Americans had a very physical series with Everette in the first round. Defensemen Drydon Dow suffered a broken arm after being checked from behind into the boards. He is lost for the season. Between the two clubs, there were at least six ten minute major penalties or misconducts. The Am’s begin the conference semi-finals against Spokane with two games under the roof of the Toyota Center April 6 and 7.

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