Sure enough, the Oilers got a chance to retaliate with a stick flip of their own.
It came with 24 seconds left in the second period, a split-second before the first goalie versus goalie fight in the Battle of Alberta’s history.
Yep, you read that right.
Despite all the bad blood flowing for decades between north and south of this great province, it took a matchup between goalies who switched sides this summer to come to blows.
With Cam Talbot throwing blockers into the face of Alex Chiasson as part of an old-school melee in the Flames end, Mike Smith skated to centre ice with hopes of attracting a dance partner.
As Matthew Tkachuk and Ethan Bear traded punches and several others wrestled one another to the ice, Talbot obliged, prompting Smith to first toss his stick, much like David Rittich did to punctuate his shootout triumph Wednesday. His mask and gloves followed.
“Old fashioned hockey right there,”said Smith, one of the few goalies to earn the career Gordie Howe hat trick.
“Obviously Talbot gets in there and mixes up a little bit, throws some blockers. I didn’t really like that. I was just seeing what was happening there. He obliged.”
Sporting some swelling on his forehead, Talbot said he regretted being ejected, forcing Rittich to return.