Originally written on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 11/23/11

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Matt Halischuk #16 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Ottawa Senators at the Prudential Center on November 25, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils won the game 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

With Nashville trailing the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 in the second period, Predators forward Matt Halischuk tried to provide his team with some spark by getting into his first hockey fight.

Standing near the left faceoff circle in the Predators offensive end, Halischuk dropped the gloves with Oilers forward Sam Gagner at 15:22 of the middle frame.

After the game, and a 6-2 loss when all was said and done, Halischuk didn’t have much to say about his first fight. “That stuff happens. It’s just part of the game. We decided to go off the face off, and that’s pretty much about it — just trying to get some energy going for the team. We kind of looked at each other and decided to go,” he said.

The two Ontario natives match up well against each other. Gagner is listed at 5’11, 195 pounds. Halischuk is an inch taller, but 10 pounds lighter.

The fight was not only Halischuk’s first professional fight, but he had never dropped the gloves and fought during his junior career, either.

“Nothing where you square off like that,” he said when if he ever got into any fights as a member of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, adding “maybe some little scraps, but nothing intense like tonight.”

Edmonton got first period goals from Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, and Jordan Eberle. Rookie scoring leader, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 2 assists, his 13th and 14th of the season.

Halischuk’s attempt to provide a spark for the Predators fell flat. Edmonton picked up three more goals in the third period. Eberle and Horcoff each picked up their second goals of the game. Defenseman Jeff Petry also picked up a goal, his first of the season (and second of his career).

Nashville was able to get on the board twice in the last 10 minutes of the game. Jordin Tootoo picked up his first goal of the season, deflecting a Shea Weber shot from the point on the power play. The Predators got their second goal of the game when Jon Blum beat Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk with only 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

Tuesday night’s game was the first of back-to-back contests that sees Nashville now travel to Minnesota to play the Wild, the NHL’s leading team. Halischuk says there is no time to worry about Tuesday night’s game. “We have to put that out of our mind and regroup. We have to come out with a good start in Minnesota.”

 

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