Kurtis Gabriel and Ryan Reaves sure brought the theatrics in a drama-fueled matchup between the Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night at SAP Center.
Both players kicked off the third period of the Sharks’ 5-4 overtime loss by dropping their gloves and going at it, leading to an epic fight.
After the game, Gabriel broke down what led to the scrap.
“I basically had to earn his attention enough to get a fight there,” Gabriel said regarding Reaves. “I guess he didn’t think I did in the first game. I guess he deemed it was time tonight.”
However, Gabriel did acknowledge Reaves, who left the game after returning from the penalty when he was possibly hit by another player’s skate blade.
“It’s a high-tension game, but that all goes out the window when you see him go down like that,” Gabriel said. “Looks like a serious injury, so that’s tough to see.”
The two fourth-line players had begun chirping at each other before the game even started, so it seemed likely a fight was inevitable at some point Friday.
In a rivalry as fiery as the Sharks-Golden Knights is, it wasn’t surprising to see the two duke it out. Logan Couture and Max Pacioretty also exchanged shots earlier in the contest.
Pacioretty and the Golden Knights would have the last laugh though, as the winger ripped his second goal of the game past Devan Dubnyk 1:25 into overtime to give Vegas the victory.
Luckily for the Sharks, they won’t have to wait long for a revenge game. They’ll take on the Golden Knights for game two of the series Saturday, and it’s sure to be just as intense as usual.