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Photo Credit: Detroit Red Wings

Relive ‘The Brawl’ on the 23rd anniversary of Red Wings vs. Avalanche fight

Hockey fans are no doubt pretty bored two weeks into a postponed season.

With talks of the season not starting until at least May, it will be a while before we see any live NHL hockey again.

However, the Detroit Red Wings reminded us of a very special day in hockey that happened 23 years ago.

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Yes, the infamous brawl between the Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche happened March 26, 1997. Claude Lemieux‘s cross-check from behind on Kris Draper in the playoffs the previous season ignited what would be one of the biggest bench-clearing brawls in NHL history.

A wrestling match between Peter Forsberg and Igor Larionov near the Red Wings’ bench started the chaos. With everyone focused on those two, Darren McCarty saw an opportunity for revenge.

He bolted for Lemieux, dropped him with a punch and started wailing away, leaving Lemieux battered, bruised and bloodied.

Of course, a good bench-clearing brawl isn’t complete without a goalie fight, and Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon didn’t disappoint, as they traded blows at center ice.

The ending of the game couldn’t have been scripted any better, as McCarty scored the overtime game-winning goal to give the Red Wings the 6-5 win.

The rivalry hasn’t had the same intensity throughout the years, but March 26 always will be one of the most memorable days in Red Wings’ history.

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