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Drew Doughty and Matthew Tkachuk: A new rivalry for the ages?

The bad blood between the two players is bringing Kings/Flames games to a different level.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was fun. The Kings recorded their first win of the regular season. First the Kings scored five goals on opening night and still weren’t able to obtain even a single point; next, they squandered a three-goal lead in Calgary. However, this turned out not to be the true highlight of the game.

Even before the game started, there was so much attention on two players: Matthew Tkachuk, and Drew Doughty. Both players have some history of chirping and jabbing each other. It continued before their first 2019-20 meeting, as well.

In case you need a reminder of why they dislike each other so much, this is the hit which started the rivalry for both players more than two years ago.

“I think we both know who the better player is, so if he wants to compliment me first, I’ll give him one back,” said Doughty before the game on Tuesday night.

We have seen some scraps and tilts over the past few seasons throughout the league. Just remember Jamie Benn squaring off against David Backes at the opening faceoff every time the Stars and the Blues met a few years back. But that was it, “just” the fights.

The Doughty - Tkachuk rivalry is about more than just gloves being dropped, though. Their rivalry comes out strong on the ice, too.

The Kings scored the first three goals, thanks to two assists from Drew Doughty. However, it was Tkachuk’s time to respond and make his presence be acknowledged.

First Tkachuk scored the goal to start the night for Calgary. Then, he provided an assist. With the goalie pulled late in the third frame, Tkachuk probably scored one of his best career goals to tie it. It was him carrying the team on his shoulders, participating in all three Flames’ goals.

The chirping didn’t result in a ton of fights. In this case, it helped both players to respond, in a hockey way.

Who had the last laugh, though? The unleashed Drew Doughty, who sniped one in to win it in overtime for the Kings to cap off his three-point night for himself.

If the rivalry between both guys means we will see such an exhibition every time the Kings meet the Flames, then it’s just the perfect thing to happen.