Jay Beagle might think twice about touching Kris Letang as long as Arron Asham is Letang's teammate.
Beagle was working for a puck along the boards in his offensive zone. Immediately after Beagle moved the puck out, Letang pushed Beagle in what appeared to be a very clean play. Beagle responded by shoving Letang and knocking his helmet off.
Letang, the 24-year-old defenseman, scored 50 points last season and led the NHL with six points going into Thursday night's game.
Asham, a middleweight fighter who had dropped his gloves in the NHL 95 times prior to Thursday night's game, responded immediately.
After the two decided to fight, Beagle initially had the upper hand. He had Asham's arm tied up and was able to throw punches.
Asham, the more experienced fighter, was finally able to get his right arm completely free from Beagle's grip.
That's when Beagle lost this fight.
He attempted three rights. Asham waited in order to draw Beagle in, then fired back, landing one hard shot on Beagle's chin.
Beagle was out when the final punch landed, dropping to the ice on the front side of his body. When he eventually got up, 25 seconds later, he was bleeding from the mouth.
A slow-motion replay shows that Beagle's head did not hit the ice when he fell, meaning all the damage was done simply from Asham's punch.
What Asham did here was address a situation in which a skilled teammate was being bullied by a larger player; Asham made sure the opposing player understood that such actions would not be tolerated.
By dropping Beagle, Asham sent a clear message to the Capitals: Don't try that again.
Penguins fans should be proud of Asham for doing his job and defending the honor of the team.
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