The 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs kicked off with a bang last night. The Tampa Bay Lightning visited the Toronto Maple Leafs for game one of their much-anticipated first-round series. The best-of-seven matchup quickly turned violent.
With Toronto holding a commanding lead in the third period, Tampa players took exception to a Wayne Simmonds hit on Jan Rutta. The Lightning bench tried to get him to square up for a fight, but Simmonds wasn’t interested.
The game broadcast cut away for a routine commercial break. When it returned, the benches cleared and huge punches were being landed on both sides. Jan Rutta got the worst of it, ending up with a massive cut on his forehead.
Rutta skated away under his own power. He was covered in blood as he left the rink. The Lightning didn’t gain any momentum and were unable to score a goal despite being sparked by the melee.
The Maple Leafs got the win and a 1-0 series lead by a score of 5-0. Auston Matthews led Toronto with two goals and an assist. Game two is set for Wednesday night.
Sparks are certain to fly as this contentious playoff series continues. Tampa Bay will be out for blood after Rutta was beaten to a bloody pulp. It’s only the first round, but fans should keep their eyes on this one.
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