Wednesday night saw two very rare events happen in two NHL games: Detroit's Johan Franzen scored five goals and two goalies faced off, much to the delight of hockey fans everywhere.
In Pittsburgh, during the tail end of what would wind up being a 3-0 victory for the Penguins, New York Islanders' goalie Rick DiPietro shoved Penguins forward--and noted antagonist--Matt Cooke when Cooke skated near DiPietro in goal. This led to pushing and shoving among the two teams, but escalated quickly when Penguins goalie Brent Johnson skated to DiPietro and the two threw off their gloves and blockers and prepared to fight. But before a true fight could break out, Johnson landed a powerful left-handed punch which dropped DiPietro to the ice, much to the surprise of everyone in the arena. Here's a video of the event courtesy of NHL.com:
Critics are now asking why DiPietro engaged in the fight since he is currently attempting a comeback. When asked about the fight post-game, DiPietro, who did not show the side of his face which was hit to assembled media in the Islanders' locker room, accepted culpability for starting the fracas and noted that Johnson has long arms. For his work, Johnson was awarded the game's #1 star (while he lost the shutout after being ejected following the fight, he had recorded 20 saves up until that point) and was given a rousing ovation by the Pittsburgh crowd.
The hockey fight was an instant online success--the NHL put it's video up roughly twenty minutes after it occurred--and led to many people on Twitter sharing video of goalie fights from the past, and this morning several websites posted collections of hockey fight videos.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Johan Franzen led the Red Wings to a 7-5 victory over the Senators by scoring five goals--one of the rarest achievements in hockey. He recorded two in the first period and three in the third period. Nicknamed The Mule, Franzen used his prodigious skill set to record the goals in a myriad of ways. Here is a video of each goal:
Curiously enough, both Franzen's Five-Goal hat-trick and the goalie fight were the first such instance of each event happening in a NHL game since 2007 when Marion Gaborik (then of the Minnesota Wild) scored five times and the Senators' Ray Emery faced off against the Buffalo Sabres' Martin Biron.
Let us know which goalie fights or great single-game performances are memorable to you in our comments section below.