Hawks’ Patrick Sharp says he’s ready to mix it up with Kings’ Justin Williams
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org June 5, 2013 9:45PM
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04: Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings get in a scrum in the first period of Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on June 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Updated: July 7, 2013 1:09PM
LOS ANGELES — When the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp and the Los Angeles Kings’ Justin Williams dropped their gloves and started to fight in the first period of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday, it was hardly the likeliest bout in NHL history. The two have played a combined 22 seasons in the NHL and have a combined 11 fights, according to hockeyfights.com. Sharp has had seven, but none since January 2009.
Officials broke up the fight — which started as the two shoved each other while jockeying for position on a faceoff — before it got started, and each received only a roughing minor. But Sharp said he would be happy to continue what they started later in the series.
‘‘He asked me to fight,’’ Sharp said. ‘‘If he asks me again, I’ll fight him any day he wants.’’
The Kings laughed it off.
‘‘[Williams] is pretty tough undercover,’’ Kings enforcer Kyle Clifford said. ‘‘I wouldn’t mind seeing that.’’
Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson practiced Wednesday, a day after taking a slap shot on the inside of his left knee in the third period of Game 3. The shot left Hjalmarsson in obvious agony, and he was slow to get up before limping through the rest of his shift. He never left the bench and returned to the ice later in the period.
Hjalmarsson didn’t want to talk about it, but coach Joel Quenneville called him ‘‘a warrior.’’
‘‘I’ve seen Hammer take a lot of blows,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘Definitely a relief to see him get up. Knowing he’s fine, we’re happy to have him back.’’