A big brawl broke out at the end of the Lightning’s loss to the Predators on Thursday night after Austin Watson ripped an unnecessary slap shot straight into the body of defenseman Jeremy Lauzon as the game clock expired.
Tampa Bay trailed Nashville 5–1 with just two seconds left on the clock, when Watson received the puck and senselessly opted to power up a slap shot and rifle it down the center of the ice.
Lauzon was skating back on defense, clearly not expecting Watson to attempt to move the puck so aggressively as time expired, when the shot caught him directly in the midsection, sending him to the ice in pain.
Lauzon’s teammates took issue with Watson’s questionable antics, and they didn’t let his slap shot go unpunished. While Lauzon could be seen on the broadcast slamming his stick on the ice in frustration and slowly getting back to his feet, Watson was being marauded by a mob of angry Predators players who were seeking vengeance for their teammate.
Multiple Nashville players went after Watson, piling on top of him as referees attempted to separate the mayhem that occurred after the final buzzer.
According to Alex Daughtery of Penalty Box Radio, Watson attempted to visit the Predators locker room after the game to ensure Lauzon was okay.
Nashville coach Andrew Brunette addressed the incident after the game, saying he wasn’t a fan of the antics from Watson.
“I did not like that at all. There’s no place in hockey (for that). No place whatsoever in hockey (for that),” said Brunette, via Daughtery.