The Anaheim Ducks had been going after Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson all night.  Late in the game, with the Ducks holding a commanding 5-1 lead, Anaheim’s Ryan Garbutt took a run at the Arizona blueliner. 

That was when Max Domi decided he’d finally seen enough. 

Domi made a beeline for Garbutt, cross-checking him in the back before dropping the gloves and spinning the Ducks’ tough guy around for a fight. 

Domi landed a few blows before linesmen Jay Sharrers and Pierre Racicot broke things up.   Both players went off for fighting, despite Garbutt not having thrown a single punch. 

Garbutt also picked up a minor for interference for the initial hit. Domi piled up 17 minutes, with an instigator, fighting major, and a game misconduct.   Coyotes winger Anthony Duclair also picked up four minutes in penalties, getting tagged for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. 

That late instigator penalty cost Domi more than just the final few minutes of Thursday’s game against the Ducks. It also saw him sidelined for Arizona’s next game.

From the NHL Rulebook:

46.11 Instigator – An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.

A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.

46.12 Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 46.22.

46.22 Fines and Suspensions – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime (see 46.12), shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. 

When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident. 

The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations, at his discretion, deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc. 

Referees for the game were Dean Morton and Kyle Rehman.