Justin Williams and Ryan Strome drop the gloves in the opening minutes of the playoffs!

What a wild start!

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This game is off to a wild start.

After New York Rangers star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist gave up a goal on what looked like the first shot of the game from the Carolina Hurricanes we now have a fight between two guys that are not known for frequently dropping the gloves. Both the Hurricanes and the Rangers have been playing an extremely physical style in the opening minutes and it quickly led to a very physical exchange between Hurricanes forward Justin Williams and Rangers forward Ryan Strome.

For two guys that are not known for throwing fists in this league both men accounted themselves pretty well in this one, although you would be hard pressed to argue that anyone other than Justin Williams won this one. Not only did Williams seem to land the most significant blow of the exchange between the two men but he left Strome bleeding from his nose or face after connecting with that punch, so much so that the ice crew had to come out onto the ice after the exchange to scrape the crimson mess left on the ice. 

It looked like Strome got the better of Williams in the end as the Hurricanes veteran fell to the ice, but after having watched the clip back a few times it looks very much to me like Williams is avoiding most of the blows being thrown by Strome. Williams wisely kept Strome at maximum distance by holding his jersey and keep Strome, literally, at arm's length, and as a result most of Strome's punches appeared to come up short of the mark.