Wild's Marcus Foligno asks linesmen to break up fight as he bloodies Sharks' Nikolai Knyzhov

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Fighting is part of the NHL, but so, too, is sportsmanship.

During the first period of Monday night's Minnesota-San Jose game, Wild forward Marcus Foligno and Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov got into a fight.

It was the first fight for Knyzhov, who was playing in his 20th NHL game. It was the 45th career NHL fight for Foligno since he entered the league in 2011-12.

It was a mismatch as Foligno tied up Knyzhnov and landed several big right-handed punches, cutting the defenseman's face.

But Foligno, realizing his opponent was bloodied, called for the linesmen to break up the fight. Knyzhnov tried to get in a punch, Foligno gestured again and the linesmen stepped in.

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Foligno then recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) by just past the midpoint of the game as he drew the secondary assist on an Ian Cole goal at 3:36 of the second period not long after he finished serving his fighting penalty.

He then scored at 10:48 on a shot that deflected off Nicolas Meloche's stick and floated past goalie Martin Jones for a 4-1 lead.

It was the third Gordie Howe hat trick of Foligno's career.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marcus Foligno calls off fight after bloodying Nikolai Knyzhov