The Winter Classic didn't need any more energy. Tens of thousands of fans were roaring as the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins battled through a scoreless first period. But neither John Erskine nor Michael Rupp felt that way as they dropped the gloves midway through the first 20 minutes.
The hatred between the Caps and Penguins is well-documented and with both teams battling to a standstill through the first first 12 minutes, Rupp laid a big check on Erskine along the end boards, which irked big John the wrong way. Erskine and Rupp did not hesitate to throw down their gloves and throw their fists around in an attempt to give their respective teams much needed momentum.
It was definitely a battle of heavyweights at center stage; Erskine stands at 6'4", 220 pounds, while Rupp is 6'5", 230 pounds. Both guys got in plenty of shots as Erskine and Rupp wobbled (whether or not it was the ice conditions is up for discussion). There was no definite winner, but it does look like Rupp called for the bell. It wouldn't be surprising if there was another fight in this game.