NHL Global Series: Fist fights in Arizona Coyotes vs LA Kings pre-season game in Melbourne, video, photos

It’s not often you see top class ice hockey being played on Australian soil, and the NHL turned it on for Aussie fans in a pre-season game in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

The Arizona Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-3 in an entertaining contest in front of a near capacity crowd of 13,097 at Rod Laver Arena.

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Seven goals were scored in the second period, before Barrett Hayton sealed the victory for the Coyotes with a goal in the dying stages of the third period.

Both teams then practised a shootout, as is customary in NHL pre-season games.

Teenage forward Logan Cooley impressed for the Coyotes, while Australian born Jordan Spence of the Kings got the rare chance to play in the country of his birth.

Spence assisted a goal by Adrian Kempe in the second period.

It was a solid game, but the highlight came early in the first period when fans were treated to some classic NHL biff as the ice rink at Rod Laver Arena momentarily turned into a boxing ring.

Arizona’s Josh Brown and LA’s Jacob Doty got into an old fashioned fist fight, whipping off their helmets and tossing their sticks aside as they exchanged blows while the referee watched on.

There were two fights in the opening 10 minutes of the game, much to the delight of spectators.

While perhaps not as common as they once were, fist fights are a fairly regular occurrence in the NHL and fans couldn’t help but chuckle at the fisticuffs in the exhibition game.

Australian Nathan Walker, who plays for the St Louis Blues in the NHL and won the Stanley Cup in 2018, made headlines when he threw hands in an old school fist fight last year.

Melbourne is now the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to host an NHL game.

The Coyotes and Kings will play another pre-season game in Melbourne on Sunday before turning their attention to the NHL season proper, which begins on October 10.

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