It started with just a little bit of banging in front of the net.
It ended with punches thrown and beers tossed onto the ice by Bell Centre fans as the clock wound down on the final seconds of Montreal's Game 6 win over the Bruins, 4-0.
With about 40 seconds left, Zdeno Chara bumped Andrey Markov in front of the Montreal net, sending the Canadiens defenseman to the ice. Markov followed Chara into the corner and pulled his right skate from under him.
Then it was on.
Chara went right after Markov, whacking him with his stick, cross-checking him. Montreal's Mike Weaver stepped in and Chara landed a gloved punch.
"Those kinds of battles do happen almost every game," said Chara, who explained he wasn't worried about risking supplemental discipline with his actions. "I don't think there's anything to be risking. You're just kind of battling for a puck."
As Chara was pulled away, Lucic found Weaver and gave him a left to the jaw. Then Jarome Iginla got involved with a hard cross check and Lucic followed with a few more punches.
No big deal, Lucic said after the game.
"It wasn't frustration," he said. "Just a scuffle. Nothing more than that."
It sure looked like frustration to anyone watching. Claude Julien admitted as much after the game, suggesting that the referees on the ice didn't do enough to control the action.
"Although we're perceived as the bad guys and they're the good guys, when Markov trips Chara and then he puts his stick between his legs and nothing's gonna be called, eventually somebody's gonna react," Julien said. "Whether it's right or wrong, Zdeno reacted. Then everything else started.
"There was a slew foot before, [David] Desharnais on [Brad] Marchand. It's a slew foot. Those are the things we're talking about that are dangerous in our game. It's a rivalry. There's some things going on both sides. I'm not portraying ourselves as innocent here. I'm just saying it takes two teams to tangle and that's what happened."
The two teams will tangle again on Wednesday in Game 7 at TD Garden.
Though the general consensus would seem to be that a hard-hitting game will benefit the Bruins, at least one Canadiens player said he hopes the game will be a physically-taxing one.
"I love it," PK Subban told NBC's Pierre McGuire after the game. "That's what playoffs is all about. I hope the crowd is louder than in here. I hope it gets nasty. I hope it gets dirty. At the end of the game, when you're shaking hands, whoever wins, that's what the feeling is all about. Knowing that you battled, knowing that you went through a war. You know what? We're gonna be there at the end standing tall."