The sight of Evgeni Malkin -- a former NHL scoring champion, MVP and playoff MVP -- fighting in a playoff game might sound alarms.
"Hopefully he doesn't get hurt," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "That's the first thing. He's a pretty valuable guy to the team."
Malkin's fisticuffs were just one display of emotion and frustration coming from the Penguins in their 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.
Things boiled over late in the second period after Boston's Brad Marchand was given a minor boarding penalty for a hit on winger James Neal in front of the Penguins bench. Neal's upper body hit the boards.
As a result of a scrum near the Boston net on the ensuing Penguins power play, Penguins winger Chris Kunitz and Bruins center Rich Peverley were assessed unsportsmanlike penalties with five seconds left in the period.
There was another scrum at center ice when the buzzer marked the end of the period, and Malkin fought Boston center Patrice Bergeron.
"I think for the most part, the things at the end of the second, I think they're probably better at that than we are," Orpik said. "I don't think that's something that we want to get involved in."
The Bruins didn't necessarily want to see the Penguins involved in some of those things, either.
"I didn't see," Boston coach Claude Julien said of the action at the end of the second. "Everything happened except that there was a fight and I saw Sidney [Crosby] push our goaltender as he's trying to skate off. This is playoff hockey and those things are going to happen. You don't whine or complain about it. You just deal with it. What we had to deal with was winning a hockey game and that's all that mattered."
Crosby also had words with and shoved hulking Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.