Oilers' Zack Kassian, Flames' Matthew Tkachuk drop the gloves for rematch in first period

Mike Stephens
NHL analyst
In a rekindling of their spat on Jan. 11, Zack Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk dropped the gloves on Wednesday night late in the first period. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

We all knew it was coming.

Late in the opening frame, viewers of Wednesday night’s hotly-anticipated Battle of Alberta were treated to the moment many were waiting for, as Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian finally dropped the gloves. It was the next chapter of their (multiple) run-ins weeks earlier.

Tkachuk, uh, didn’t exactly walk away with a commanding victory.

Following the events of Jan. 11 — during which Tkachuk and Kassian set the hockey world ablaze with a dramatic physical showdown — this was more or less inevitable. Hockey’s code proclaims it. You know the drill.

After the game, Kassian and Tkachuk discussed the moments that led up to their score-settling scrap, with the Oilers forward praising his nemesis for answering the call.

For Tkachuk, this wasn’t about paying the piper — it was about standing his ground.

Funnily enough, though, Tkachuk-Kassian wasn’t the first rumble to take place in the game. Minutes earlier, Calgary’s Sean Monahan and Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (of all people) chose to enter the ring and throw haymakers at each other. If you had those two on your fight card before the opening faceoff, you’re either a time traveller or simply picked names at random.

Regardless, the bout wasn’t a bad undercard ahead of the main event.

While the game remained chippy the rest of the way, things definitely settled down in comparison and some hockey was played. Calgary went on to win the game 4-3 in a shootout.

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