Puck Daddy - NHL

Johan Franzen(notes) had five goals for the Red Wings on Wednesday night. It was going to take something spectacular, exceptional or supremely amusing to surpass that as the highlight of the evening.

And then Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Brent Johnson(notes) one-punched New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro(notes) on national television. Ding ding ding:

The fun began with a collision between DiPietro and (who else?) Matt Cooke(notes) of the Penguins, with his team up 3-0 at home over the Islanders with 16.5 seconds left in the game. That led to a scrum in the corner and to Brent Johnson removing his mask, skating down the ice and challenging DiPietro to a fight. Johnson shoots lefty; that's the hand that dropped the Islanders goaltender.

(Luckily, it didn't appear DiPietro shattered on impact, despite being Rick DiPietro.)

DiPietro was given 2 minutes for interference and for leaving the crease, and 5 minutes for fighting (er, uh, taking a punch?). Johnson was given 2 for leaving the crease, 5 minutes for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Here's a different slow-motion replay of the punch, via MSG and VERSUS:

Via Mike Colligan of The Hockey Writers, Brent Johnson: 

After the game, Johnson said he’s actually no stranger to fisticuffs. "This is the first time [I've fought] in the NHL," Johnson said.  "I had a couple fights in the minors and a lot in Juniors, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had and being up 3-0 and seeing [Dipietro] come out and hit one of our guys, so not a better opportunity than that and I jumped at it." 

"Afterwards guys were excited," he said. "They didn’t know I had that little mean streak in me.  It was something I’ve kind of wanted to do for a little while.  Maybe a little frustration at some things and it just all came out tonight."

Katie Strang of Newsday reports that DiPietro "has a hell of a bruise brewing on his right cheekbone" and said of Johnson: "He has long arms."

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