Stars, Bruins waste no time
The Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins have had their share of battles in the past, including a 146-penalty-minute affair the last time the Stars visited Boston, but few have started as quickly as Thursday's contest.
The Bruins ended up winning the game 6-3, but the real action started with the opening faceoff.
• One second after the puck was dropped to start the game, Boston's Greg Campbell squared off with the Stars' Steve Ott.
• One second after the subsequent faceoff, the Bruins' Shawn Thornton took on Dallas' Krys Barch.
• And as if that wasn't enough, two seconds after the next faceoff, the Bruins' Adam McQuaid traded blows with the Stars' Brian Sutherby.
But that's not all, folks. After the fists stopped flying, the pucks took flight. Just 35 seconds into the contest, Milan Lucic put the Bruins up 1-0. Then 45 seconds after that, Patrice Bergeron gave Boston a 2-0 lead.
That made it an early night for Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft, a former Bruin himself. Dallas coach Marc Crawford decided to replace Raycroft with Kari Lehtonen 80 seconds into the game.
As if that wasn't enough to get the Boston crowd going, the Bruins' Andrew Ference dropped the gloves to take on Dallas' Adam Burish at the 3:51 mark, dropping the Stars agitator with a devastating punch.
Just for good measure, the Bruins added another goal 9:35 into the first to make it 3-0 when Bergeron deposited his second of the game past Lehtonen.
Burish sported a swollen eye the rest of the game, while Barch was sent to the hospital with an eye injury suffered in his fight with Thornton.
''I haven't seen it (three fights at the start of the game like that),'' Crawford said. '' It's funny ... two teams that don't see each other very much. It shows you you can't take anything for granted.''
''Usually against Dallas it is interesting in this building,'' Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ''We got their starting lineups and we knew they wanted to start with a physical edge and we were ready.''
In the Stars' previous visit to Boston on Nov. 1, 2008, there were 146 penalty minutes, tonight a mere 91.
''You get reputations of being a frustrating team to play against and they're obviously a team that plays hard in the East,'' Ott said. ''Put them together, and two years ago there was some bad blood and all that kind of junk and for some reason the game starts out like that.''
In addition to the fights, Boston's Daniel Paille was given a match penalty resulting in an immediate ejection at 11:21 of the second period for an illegal shot to the head of Stars forward Raymond Sawada.
Sawada had lost control of the puck and as he leaned down to gain control, Paille connected with a blind-side hit to Sawada's shoulder and head.
''It was a bad hit,'' Ference said. ''We can't be hypocrites when your own team does a hit like that which the league is trying to get rid of.''
''You never want to see a hit (like Paille on Sawada) on either side,'' Bergeron said. ''I was just happy when the guy got up and he was OK.''
Even though there were only 91 minutes in penalties, the game stirred memories of the Bruins' record-setting 5-1 victory in Boston on Feb. 26, 1981, when the Minnesota North Stars (the ancestors of the Dallas Stars) and Bruins combined for 406 penalty minutes. Former Bruin Steve Kasper, who kicked things off seven seconds into that contest in a fight with Bobby Smith, was in attendance.
''I've heard of it (the game in 1981), I haven't watched it, but maybe they (the Stars) wanted to do the same thing,'' Bruins forward Brad Marchand said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.