Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler and Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown will both suit up in red, white and blue in Sochi, but there was little camaraderie between the two Olympians on Monday night.
Kesler, who mangled Boston Bruins winger Jarome Iginla‘s finger in a fight earlier this season, dropped the gloves with Brown during the matchup of Pacific Division rivals.
Brown had been on the Canucks’ radar after his collision with goalie Roberto Luongo nine days earlier, and Kesler made his soon-to-be Team USA teammate pay by pulling Brown’s sweater over his head just seconds into the second period and nailing him with several hard rights.
“Everything that happened with Roberto last game, [Brown] knew from the opening puck drop he had to fight someone,” Kesler said after the game, via the Vancouver Province. “A lot of guys stuck up for each other. That was a big statement by our team.”
The Canucks might have made a statement with their fists, but Brown made one with his stick, beating goaltender Eddie Lack less than a minute into the third period for the game’s only goal.
What the contest lacked in scoring, though, it more than made up for in misconduct. The teams combined for 109 penalty minutes, including 27 by Canucks tough guy Tom Sestito. Sestito was ejected in the first period after logging just one second of ice time.
Check out Kesler and Brown’s brief bout in the video below.