Coach Pete DeBoer warned Cam Janssen, advising his fourth-line tough guy NOT to engage with the much-bigger Rangers enforcer across ice.
But Janssen spurned his coach's pleas and obliged the 6-8, 260-pound John Scott's invitation to fight.
The two players dropped the gloves at 12:32 of the first, giving fans a heavyweight bout to witness.
"We all know how tough he is, how fearless he is, but boy, that's a big man he was going with," DeBoer said after the game.
Janssen, who had fought Scott twice before while both were playing in the Western Conference, knew he'd likely be pursued by him Tuesday. And after an exchange that was broken up by officials before the game, Janssen accepted Scott's challenge with the Devils leading 1-0 in the first.
"He was definitely going to be coming after me, and at first, we were up by a goal, but enough was enough," he said. "He was egging me pretty good and maybe if I dont fight him there, he goes out and hits somebody and fights someone that doesn't need to be fighting. So, I'll take one for the team. Absolutely, no doubt about it."
Was the 6-0, 215-pound Janssen daunted by the hulking brawler?
"He's scary looking for sure," Janssen admitted, "but it calms everything down a bit. If you watch the last game against the Rangers and this one, there was a big difference. We countered everything and played hard, didn't back down and that's what we're made of, really. "That's our mindset for these games, really. Just go all out and stick up for your teammates, make sure everyone's on the same page, and that's what we did."