PHILADELPHIA — Not even stars are immune to fighting in the NHL playoffs.
Teams have slugged their way toward 804 penalty minutes through the first 22 postseason game. The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins rumbled to 158 minutes in Game 3; San Jose and St. Louis had 132 minutes in Game 2; and Ottawa and the New York Rangers compiled 54 minutes in Game 2.
There was an average of 22 minutes, 25 seconds of penalty minutes per game in the regular season. Five teams have bettered that average in the still tiny sample size of the postseason.
Valued pieces like Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Shea Weber and Todd Bertuzzi are not afraid of fighting anymore or to take a major penalty if it means getting a point across.
The pressure-packed postseason is just one reason why temperatures are rising on the ice.