Florida Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk entered Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final as one of the favorites for playoff MVP, especially after getting three game-winning goals in a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final.
He left Saturday's Game 1 early after receiving 14 penalty minutes during a third-period scrum. That featured a sucker punch by Tkachuk on the Golden Knights' Nicolas Hague, who was being held by Panthers teammate Marc Staal at the time.
Tkachuk received two roughing minors, plus a 10-minute misconduct, sending him to the dressing room with 4:24 left in the Golden Knights' 5-2 victory.
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It was one of three scrums in the game that began with boxing announcer Michael Buffer saying, "Let's get ready to rumble."
Florida's Sam Bennett and Radko Gudas and Vegas' Chandler Stephenson also received misconducts in the third period.
Tkachuk was held without a point and was limited to two shots. He hit the post once and turned the puck over before Mark Stone's goal that made it 4-2 Vegas.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Matthew Tkachuk sucker punches Nicolas Hague, is booted from Game 1