Two games in, it's getting nasty

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- It took two games, but the bad blood is finally bubbling in the Eastern Conference final.

Tempers boiled over in the final moments of the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes last night in Game 2 of this Eastern Conference final, a melee that might leave Canes forward Ryan Bayda paying the price.

Bayda received a match penalty at 18:41 of the third period for "attempting to injure." Under Rule 21 of the NHL rule book, Bayda is suspended one game pending a league review, which is expected to take place today.

Bayda apparently administered a vicious cross check to Kris Letang, which caused the Pens defenceman to snap. Letang responded by dropping the gloves with Canes defenceman Tim Gleason, earning a fighting major and game misconduct in the process.

"I didn't get an explanation as to what happened," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "Two players came together and it was a high sticking match, but I didn't get any more than that."

At one point in the second period, Evgeni Malkin, the game's first star with three goals and an assist, threw a couple of punches at the head of Canes forward Chad LaRose, an indication of just how chippy this series is becoming.

One player who is breathing a sigh of relief this morning is Pens forward Chris Kunitz. Kunitz had not scored this entire post-season until he put one into the top corner with 7.3 seconds left in the second period, giving the Pens a 4-3 lead at the time.

"It definitely feels good," Kunitz said. "But our team is definitely close in the locker room. It's not about the goal. It's about the win.

"Personally it's all good to get it done we've been having a lot of guys score goals that maybe aren't expected to."


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