TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 29: Brendan Lemieux #48 of the New York Rangers and Johnny Boychuk #55 of the New York Islanders scuffle in the first period during an exhibition game prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on July 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.
(Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

The bad blood between the Rangers and Islanders stretches back decades. Even in an exhibition game, the fists are flying.

It wouldn’t be a game between the Rangers and Islanders without something physical going down. Don’t tell Brendan Lemieux and Johnny Boychuk that they’re playing in an exhibition.

It’s been a while since these guys have played against someone other than their own teammates. We can’t blame them for wanting to mix it up a little bit. The Isles definitely don’t want to see the veteran Boychuk throwing hands with a tough guy like Lemieux in a meaningless game, but it looks like he made it out of the tussle unscathed.

Tap those sticks and get back at it, boys.

The Islanders were the first to strike. Anthony Beauvillier took advantage of a two-on-one to beat the Russian wunderkind in net—Igor Shesterkin.

There’s definitely some juice in this game—as much as there can be in a warm-up—and both teams look ready for the real thing to start. Sure, they both look a little rusty and maybe half a step slow, but this is a good test for both sides.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.