Just under five minutes into their game against the San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers forward Nicolas Deslauriers came to teammate Sean Walker’s defense in front of the benches and dropped the mitts with Givani Smith. Garnet Hathaway and Luke Kunin were the initial belligerents that kicked things off, but Deslauriers was on the scene to finish the battle once and for all. This was No. 44’s third fight of the 2023-24 season.
Nicolas Deslauriers vs. Givani Smith, big-time fight. 🔔 🥊 pic.twitter.com/9b8PIAXlNA
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 8, 2023
In the fight, which can be seen above, Smith holds the early advantage before knocking Deslauriers’ bucket off. That was about as good as things got for the Sharks forward, because once Deslauriers got free, the Flyers’ knight in shining armor unleashed a flurry of right-handed bombs – several of which connecting to the face and body. With the two fighters quickly burning through their stamina, a few more Deslauriers uppercuts scored a takedown in the Flyers‘ favor. The 32-year-old left the scrap with a hearty cut to his cheek, but it wouldn’t be enough to hold him down upon his return from the sin bin.
Leading up to the battle between the two heavyweights, the Flyers fell into an early 1-0 deficit after a neutral zone breakdown. Mikael Granlund picked out Kevin Labanc down the wing, exposing some poor gap control from veteran defenseman Nick Seeler. Labanc picked out a cutting Anthony Duclair, who went ahead and finished the rest.
Despite the early fight, both the Sharks and the Flyers would continue to engage each other in extracurriculars for what seemed like every other whistle. There’s no love lost between the two sides, with each having a lot to play for tonight.