The New Jersey Devils delivered a statement game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night. That statement announced that they not only have bite, but they’ve also got some bark too. 

After dropping the first two games of their opening round series against the Lightning, the Devils returned to New Jersey and stunned the top-seeded Bolts with a 5-2 win in Game 3. It was a big win to get the Devils back into the series, and it didn’t come without some dramatics.

In the final minute of the contest, the game devolved into some nastiness, as the two teams engaged in feisty extracurriculars just before the final horn. During a late scrum, veteran Devils forward Brian Boyle mixed things up with young Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.

After they were separated, Boyle seemed rather displeased with Sergachev and appeared to threaten the 19-year-old Russian.

I’m no lip reader, but it appears that Boyle yelled “I’m going to [expletive] kill you” in Sergachev’s direction. Several times.

Tempers have been known to flare thanks to the high stakes that come with the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it’s not exactly known why Boyle was so riled up by Sergachev. He seemed to rather enjoy himself as he was engaging with the defenseman, judging from the smile on his face.

After the game, Boyle wouldn’t reveal what he told Sergachev on the ice, saying only, “I’m sure it looks entertaining, but don’t make too much of it. It’s competition, but there’s a line that you don’t necessarily go across with your team down.”

Despite his downplaying of the incident, something tells me it could come up again later this week when these teams take the ice for Game 4. Boyle, who played two and a half seasons with the Lightning from 2014-2017, may not get such a warm reception when he returns to Tampa later in the series, either.

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