It was hockey at its ugliest Sunday night at New York.
Ranger defenseman David Shaw, incensed because of a cross-checking incident, slashed Mario Lemieux of Pittsburgh in the chest with less than 5 minutes remaining of a 9-2 romp by the Rangers.
Lemieux lay face down on the ice for nearly 5 minutes while fights broke out all over the place as Lemieux’s teammates tried to get at Shaw.
Penguins came swarming off the bench, but only center Dan Quinn had a chance to get in some punches at Shaw.
Lemieux, who suffered a bruised sternum, did not return to the ice, but the players who did spent the closing minutes slashing each other and fighting.
A Pittsburgh spokesman said the injury did not appear to be serious. He is expected to play Tuesday against Vancouver.
Shaw was given an immediate indefinite suspension as well as a match penalty.
The 20-minute final period took an hour to complete. Van Hellemond assessed 18 major penalties during the period. There was the match penalty to Shaw, 8 game misconducts and 5 misconducts. Nine players were ejected and 250 minutes in penalties were meted out in the last 20 minutes.
Because of players leaving the bench, there are sure to be numerous fines and maybe suspensions handed out after the league studies the ugly turn of events.
It was Shaw, with his first goal of the season, who scored 25 seconds after the opening faceoff to send the Rangers on their way to a 7th consecutive victory.
Rookie Tony Granato, a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, scored 4 goals for the Rangers, who have an 8-2-1 record and lead the Patrick Division by 3 points over the Penguins.
Lemieux, the league scoring champion, had only an assist before being injured. He has 38 points in 11 games.
The Rangers, with the best record in the league, also suffered an early blow. Right wing Jan Erixon, hero of Saturday night’s win over Philadelphia, suffered a knee injury early in the second period and is expected to be out a month.
It was a game for only half a period. By that time New York led, 4-0. They led, 6-1, after the 1st period.
The slashing and the fighting began in the 2nd period. The surprise was that there weren’t more serious injuries. Bodily harm seemed the intent of most of the players.
Vancouver 2, Calgary 1--The Canucks almost feel as though the new season is a success.
Jim Sandlak scored on a power play 7 minutes into the final period at Vancouver to give the Canucks their first victory over the Flames since February, 1987.
The 4th win in 5 games brought the Canucks to the .500 mark (5-5-2) and only 2 points out of 1st place in the Smythe Division.
Buffalo 3, Boston 3--After 130 minutes of action in a little more than 25 hours, the Sabres and Bruins are still even.
Saturday night at Boston, defenseman Ray Bourque scored with just 32 seconds left in regulation to make it a 3-3 game.
In this game at Buffalo, the Bruins’ Glen Wesley scored the final goal with 3:45 remaining in regulation.
After 2 full games and 10 minutes of scoreless overtime, the teams were even, 6-6. Boston had 73 shots, the Sabres 52.
Chicago 5, Edmonton 2--Doug Wilson and Dirk Graham scored short-handed goals just 24 seconds apart in the 2nd period at Edmonton to lead the Blackhawks to just their 3rd win in 12 games.
The Oilers, who have only 5 goals in 59 power-play opportunities, have given up 5 short-handed goals.