The Florida Panthers are investigating a fight between a Tampa Bay Lightning fan and one of their mascots, Viktor E. Ratt.
The Panthers hosted their inner-state rivals on Monday night, cruising to a 7-1 win over the defending Eastern Conference Champions. Though mascots are known for engaging in activities such as fake fights and such for humorous purposes, this altercation was reportedly not scripted.
According to David Wilson of the Miami Herald, the Panthers claim that the fight was not stage. The reigning Atlantic Division champions and Presidents’ Trophy winners are now looking into the incident.
Several videos of the physical altercation went viral around Twitter. Curiously, stadium personnel don’t seem to make any effort to intervene.
The rivalry between the Panthers and Lightning has reached a new level over the past two years. They met in the opening round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Tampa Bay eliminating Florida in six games.
Despite finishing with the NHL’s best record in 2021-22, the Panthers were no match for the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions — who completed a four-game sweep in the second round. Tampa Bay went on to lose to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final.
Entering Wednesday’s action, the Lightning sit third in the Atlantic Division with a 32-16-2 record, so they’re a sure bet to make the postseason. The Panthers have been one of the biggest disappointments over the first four months, sitting outside the playoff picture with a record of 25-22-6.
The Lightning and Panthers will play each other again in Tampa on Feb. 28.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.