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NHL Scores: Brawl breaks out in Anaheim, Darling wins debut in Chicago

Sunday night is alright for fighting. Apparently.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Normally Sunday nights in the NHL are low-energy affairs. These nights are basically the NHL equivalent of staying in after a long Saturday night full of rough-and-tumble action.

Not this night. No, this Sunday night featured a special brand of roughness that occasionally bordered on dangerous, but usually trended toward flat-out entertaining.

Anaheim was home to the first line brawl of the season after about 40 minutes of simmering hatred between the Sharks and Ducks. The two squads racked up 165 penalty minutes in San Jose's 4-1 win. This was basically the entire game in one GIF:

line brawl starts

It was certainly a spectacle, though at some points the physicality became dangerous. That definitely was the case in Los Angeles earlier in the evening, as two players suffered injuries due to strong hits. In Anze Kopitar's case, a play behind the net ended up with him leaving the game under his own power. As for Nick Folignoa freak accident caused him to be carried off the ice on a stretcher. Fortunately, it sounds like Foligno will be alright:

It was just another case of the physicality of hockey overshadowing the actual game on Sunday.

All the NHL Scores

Jets 2, Avalanche 1 (OT)

Kings 5, Blue Jackets 2

Blackhawks 2, Senators 1

Sharks 4, Ducks 1

Canucks 4, Capitals 2

Three Things We Learned

1. The Ducks and Sharks almost forgot to play hockey. The 165 penalty minutes between the two clubs was easily the most of any game this season. The shenanigans teetered between comical and dangerous: Ryan Getzlaf being taunted by Sharks rookie Mirco Mueller was pretty entertaining, but lines were crossed when John Scott came off the bench and immediately tackled Tim Jackman. And those uppercuts Joe Pavelski took from Ben Lovejoy were enough to make any fan wince. These two teams are talented enough, we don't exactly need pugilism to spice up this rivalry.

2. Scott Darling had one heck of a debut. The 25-year-old netminder (and Illinois native) signed with Chicago as a free agent during the summer but as a backup. An injury to starter Corey Crawford paved the way for Darling to make his first NHL start on Sunday, and he did not disappoint. Darling made 32 saves and only allowed one goal in a superb effort in net as Chicago downed the Senators.

3. The Avalanche are as inconsistent as ever. Watching them sputter against the Jets on Sunday, you'd never know they routed the Canucks, 7-3, on Friday. Credit to Winnipeg for clogging up the neutral zone to hinder Colorado's forwards, but at this point you expect the Avs to find ways through those issues. Once again, Colorado's considerable talent couldn't overcome its shortcomings.

Impact Moment

By far the scariest moment of the night came when Foligno had to be stretchered off in the third period after colliding with a referee. Someone mentioned on Twitter that it's the bizarre plays that always seem to result in concussions or head injuries, and that seems appropriate. No matter how much the NHL tries to crack down on hits to the head, the nature of the sport creates freak plays that can seriously injure players. Thankfully Foligno was alright.

Stat of the Night

Look out, Mo.

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