The Washington Times - April 2, 2012, 04:08PM

TAMPA, Fla. | The sight of Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant Tony Granato standing atop the boards yelling at each other was something you don’t often see in the NHL.

“In this league? No I haven’t,” Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. “In junior, I have. Never since I’ve been here.”


Tensions boiled over after late in Sunday’s game at Consol Energy Center, thanks to Sidney Crosby and Brayden Schenn exchanging shoves and Joe Vitale laying out Danny Briere. Laviolette later called Penguins coach Dan Bylsma “gutless” for putting his tough guy line on the ice in that situation.

It happens, everybody yelling,” Caps coach Dale Hunter said. “It makes good news.”

It was a fitting preview of the teams’ upcoming playoff series and pure entertainment for those watching in the arena or at home.

“It was awesome. That was pretty cool to see. It was a fun game to watch, obviously,” Alzner said. “It’s too bad when some of those things happen, guys are taking cheap shots and stuff. That’s not too good, but when the fights come, it’s pretty nice.”

Laviolette was fined $10,000 and Granato $2,500 by the NHL for their roles in the incident.

Mike Knuble recalled moments during the heyday of the Detroit Red Wings-Colorado Avalanche rivalry and incidents in which coaches Scotty Bowman and Marc Crawford would be trading verbal barbs back and forth.

“There’s that little gap [between the benches] at Joe Louis. Yesterday it was 10 feet; that one at Joe Louis is literally like this,” Knuble said, motioning maybe the size of two people. “They’d be right up at the glass.”

Hunter caused a similar situation in March 1991 when he cheap-shotted Gord Murphy at Capital Centre, knocking the Flyers defenseman out for an extended period of time. Hunter was suspended four games.

“There is no dispute that Hunter deliberately struck his opponent with an elbow that must be characterized as vicious, and that he was fully aware of what he was doing,” NHL executive vice president at the time Brian O’Neill said in a statement.

Then coach of the Flyers, Paul Holmgren wielded a stick during the aftermath of the hit and whacked the glass median with it. He never got close enough to Hunter to use it on him.

Asked about that play and situation Monday, Hunter smiled and played dumb.

“I black them things out,” he said. “It wasn’t me.”

Here’s video of the Flyers-Penguins melee:

And the Hunter hit on Murphy: