The Edmonton Oilers made a statement in a few ways on Saturday night as they evened up their second-round matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights. Edmonton put four goals past Vegas goaltender Laurent Brossoit before there were three minutes left in the first period.
Later on in the game, several fights broke out and the rough stuff only subsided when the final horn sounded. The two teams ended the night with a total of 124 penalty minutes. One moment in particular amongst all the chaos raised eyes on social media and that involved the Oilers’ Evander Kane.
Kane pinned Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar to the ice and landed several hard body shots on his seemingly defenseless opponent.
here's another look at the brouhaha in the corner. pic.twitter.com/Ti1hZEy8js
— zach (@zjlaing) May 7, 2023
The massive melee occurred with 2:18 left in the second period with the Oilers up 5-0 and coasting to a Game Two victory. Brett Howden and Brett Kulak in a battle of the Bretts kicked things off by dropping the gloves near center ice.
While they squared off, the action continued into the Vegas zone and Edmonton’s Nick Bjugstad let go a shot that Vegas defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Zach Whitecloud clearly took exception to as they seem to have thought it came after play had been stopped. Their altercation sparked an all-out brawl behind the Vegas net.
Behind the net is where Kane and Kolesar meet up as Kolesar picks Kane out of the pile of bodies along the boards. Kane eventually scores the takedown on Kolesar and while pinning him to the ice, delivers six hard shots to Kolesar’s body with his gloveless right hand.
Kane defended his actions to the media postgame.
“You don’t see a lot of guys getting jumped from behind and head locked,” Kane started. “When you want to f— around, sometimes you gotta find out. We get up 5-0 and we know they’re going to try and run around and cause s—. Get involved in the game somehow. I thought we did a great job answering there.”
Kane received a double minor for roughing on the play and was doled out a ten-minute misconduct for the ground and pound. Kolesar was given one two-minute minor for roughing for his role as a prone punching bag.
Referee Kelly Sutherland getting out his handy dandy notebook while Evander Kane lands 5 unanswered body shots to Kolesar, lying on his back. pic.twitter.com/TRD2QRfOgB
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) May 7, 2023
Kane would end up getting another ten-minute misconduct in the closing seconds of regulation. He was joined in the locker room early by Bjugstad and on the Vegas side Nicolas Hague, Kolesar, Nicolas Roy, and William Carrier all also were sent packing before time expired.
The two teams won’t have much time away from each other per design in the playoffs. The series heads to Edmonton for Game Three on Monday. Puck drop for that game is at 8:30 pm ET.
Let’s hope the officials are ready.
Screenshot via Sportsnet
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