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Phil Kessel told Brad Marchand he’d fight him ‘any time’

05.07.13 at 3:22 pm ET
By

Brad Marchand

TORONTO – Brad Marchand dropped one glove when he was tied up with Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel in the third period of Boston’s 5-2 Game 3 win, and he said Tuesday that he it was to gauge whether Kessel would stick to his word.

“We kind of came together there and I wasn’t really sure what was going on,” Marchand explained. “He was shoving and he told me before he’d go with me any time, so I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen, but I just wanted to be prepared.”

Kessel has one career fight in the NHL, which came against Columbus’ Kris Russell during the 2009-10 season. Marchand has four in his career, with his lone fight this season coming against Washington’s Mike Ribeiro.

Asked Tuesday about the scuffle, which landed both players in the box in an exchange the B’s would gladly take, Kessel said he doesn’t feel Marchand is getting him off his game or drawing him into anything that would put the Leafs in a tight spot.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Kessel said, adding: “It’s just battling hard out there, and it gets heated.”

Added Kessel: “I mean, he’s a good hockey player and he battles hard out there.”

The good news for Kessel is that he’s finally finding some offensive success against the Bruins. After scoring just three goals in his first 22 career games against his former club, Kessel has two goals in three games this series. If he’s happy about that, he sure isn’t showing it.

“It doesn’t really matter when you’re not winning games,” Kessel said. “Obviously last night we didn’t win, and we’re going to have to come out harder Wednesday.”

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