Islanders Recall Tough-Guy Godard
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ The New York Islanders made immediate use of rugged rookie forward Eric Godard, who fought Toronto’s Tie Domi on Friday night in the first matchup between the teams since last season’s contentious playoff series.
In Game 5, Toronto’s Darcy Tucker injured Islanders captain Michael Peca with a check that was deemed dirty by New York. Peca needed reconstructive surgery on his left knee and only returned to action a few weeks ago, seven months after the hit.
The Maple Leafs won the series in seven games.
Peca and the Islanders downplayed the possibility of revenge in the days leading up to Friday’s game.
The Islanders recalled Godard from the minors before the game, an indiaction that they didn’t want to be caught short-handed should the contest turn overly physical.
Just 2:28 into the second period it did.
Another Islanders enforcer, Steve Webb, landed a big open-ice check on Jonas Hoglund that left the Maple Leafs forward sprawled face-down on the ice.
As players converged, Godard and Domi squared off in a heavyweight fight that had many big punches landed near center-ice.
Godard, a 6-foot-4 right wing, played his second career NHL game. In 22 games this season with Bridgeport, Godard already amassed 91 penalty minutes. He had 198 minutes and only five points in 67 Bridgeport games last season.
In two full seasons with Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League, Godard had 523 penalty minutes and five goals in 126 games.
Hoglund received medical attention on the bench before he went back to the dressing room. His condition was not immediately known
No other roster moves were made Friday by the Islanders, who had open spots after sending defenseman Sven Butenschon and center Eric Manlow to Bridgeport on Tuesday.