“It was the most gutless thing somebody could ever do,” Tkachuk told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun after the game, a 4-2 Kings win. “I don’t even know what he was thinking, he’s just a complete brick head.”
The incident occurred with 6:09 remaining in the third period after Tkachuk began shoving Blake Lizotte following a whistle in the Senators’ zone. Lemieux came to the aid of his teammate and tussled with Tkachuk to the ice as officials attempted to pull them apart.
Tkachuk said Lemieux bit him and showed his bloody hand to the officials while heading to the penalty box. Both players were assessed roughing penalties while Lemieux was also ejected from the game with a 10-minute match penalty.
“I’d be furious too,” Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said on After Hours when asked about his brother’s reaction. “That’s a little kid shit there.
“I don’t know if they’ve played them twice already but I’m sure that guy, if he’s still in the NHL by then — I know he’s not a very well-liked guy and that shows it right there. So if he’s still in the NHL then I’m sure most of Brady’s team is going to be going after him all night.”
The Senators and Kings don’t play again this season, but the Flames and Kings — as division rivals — have three more games on the schedule.
The Kings acquired Lemieux from the Rangers midway through last season. He has been suspended once before — while with the Rangers — two bubble Stanley Cup qualifying games for roughing then-Colorado Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi.
Lemieux has four goals and five points in 13 games this season on the Kings’ fourth line.
“We need him playing every night,” Kings head coach Todd McLellan said post-game. “We need him playing every minute that he gets. Offensively, defensively, physically, emotionally. And if we happen to lose him for any period of time, we’ll miss him. And he has to understand how important he’s become.”
It’s not the first time the two have clashed nor are they the first Tkachuks and Lemieuxs to fight. The family feud began with their fathers, Keith Tkachuk and Claude Lemieux, who dropped the gloves during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.