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Must See: Panthers' Lomberg Suspended, Coach Fined for fight against Lightning

During last nights game which saw the Tampa Bay Lightning slaughter the Florida Panthers 8-4, things took an extremely ugly turn in the final 5 minutes of the game.


Florida Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg has been suspended for one game for instigating a fight against Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak.

The automatic suspension comes after Lomberg was penalized for instigating the fight in the final five minutes of play. Also the Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette has been fined $10,000 for the incident.

You can watch the video down below:

Linesman Matt MacPherson immediately jumped in to separate the two players.

Lomberg was given a minor penalty for instigating, a major penalty for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct, and a game misconduct for the incident, which came at 16:24 of the third period with the Lightning leading 7-4. Brunette was ejected from the game.


So what exactly – according to the NHL rulebook – is an instigator? From Rule 46.11:

An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season)

incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.

Lomberg’s suspension, as well as the fine to Brunette, are automatic under Rule 46.21, which was added to the NHL Rule Book in 2005:

A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime, shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident.

The last time the NHL suspended a player for instigating a fight in the final five minutes was back in 2018. The player? Ryan Lomberg, then with the Calgary Flames, who left the bench to go after Minnesota’s Matt Dumba, also costing head coach Bill Peters $10,000.