|Sean Avery (right) was his usual annoying self, ramming the Oilers’ Colin Fraser into the boards and sparking a melee. (Paul Berewill/Getty Images)|
Avery, Rangers deliver a beating
Add the Edmonton Oilers to the long list of teams that are fed up with Sean Avery.
The Oilers were already trailing by three goals in the final period of a long and disappointing five-game road trip when Avery really got them mad. The New York Rangers agitator checked Colin Fraser hard into the boards and, according to the Oilers, declined to fight Ladislav Smid when he was challenged.
Avery eventually took the initiative of throwing a punch after Smid let down his guard when it seemed a fight wouldn’t happen. A brawl then broke out with 8:42 remaining.
When the final buzzer finally sounded yesterday, the Rangers skated off with an 8-2 win, and the Oilers took their best shots of the day — sending pointed words at Avery.
“I thought it was pretty gutless,’’ said forward Steve MacIntyre, who fought Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard twice in the third period before the big melee. “It just shows you what kind of guy he is. He’ll get his. Somebody who is bigger and tougher. He’ll get what’s coming.’’
Things got out of hand as Avery was being ushered toward the tunnel next to the benches with Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney yelling at him.
“It’s a sucker punch, and I hope they look at it,’’ Whitney said. “Smid asked him to fight. [Avery] was saying wait. Then Laddie turned around and all of a sudden he gets suckered. I don’t know what the league can do with that, but it’s pretty obvious.’’
In all, 124 penalty minutes were handed out following the brawl — 67 to Edmonton — including five standard misconducts and four ejections.
The fisticuffs overshadowed a day that had belonged to Rangers’ top scorer Marian Gaborik, who scored his first three goals of the season.
Blackhawks 3, Ducks 2 — Viktor Stalberg scored 4 1/2 minutes into overtime as host Chicago snapped Anaheim’s six-game winning streak.
Stalberg redirected Duncan Keith’s shot past Jonas Hiller for his sixth goal and second in two nights. Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa each had a power-play goal and an assist to help the Blackhawks snap a three-game slide.
Capitals 6, Thrashers 4 — John Erskine scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:49 remaining to spark Washington to its sixth straight home victory.
Wild 4, Lightning 1 — Cal Clutterbuck and Antti Miettinen scored on the power play during a three-goal first period, Niklas Backstrom made 37 saves, and Minnesota handed host Tampa Bay its third straight loss.