Calgary and Dallas wasted no time getting acquainted in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The second-seeded Flames and 7-seed Stars faced off in Game 1 of their first-round matchup on Tuesday, and fists were flying before the first period ended.
The initial melee started with a punishing hit by Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk on Dallas defenseman John Klingberg behind the Stars’ net as the opening frame came to a close. That drew Klingberg’s teammate, Michael Raffl, over to challenge Tkachuk, and the two exchanged several blows in a long fight after that.
Both Tkachuk and Raffl earned fighting majors for their actions, and Raffl received an additional penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Meanwhile, Klingberg and Flames blueliner Rasmus Andersson started another fight of their own while Tkachuk and Raffl were going at it. Per NHL rules, Klingberg and Andersson each received game misconducts — an automatic ejection — for engaging in a separate fight after the original altercation had begun.
It made for quite a spirited opening to the series by leaving both sides without a key piece of their blue line for much of the night.
Klingberg had 47 points in 74 regular-season games for Dallas and carried the third-most minutes on the team at 22:13 per night. Andersson was the Flames’ leader in ice time at 22:40 per game, while adding 50 points in 82 games.
Calgary took Game 1 in a 1-0 shutout, the game’s lone goal coming from Elias Lindholm.