The gloves came off, and the British fans got exactly what they wanted.
A two-man brawl with fists flying midway through the second period drew the biggest cheers and a standing ovation Sunday in the Anaheim Ducks' 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
"They liked the physical play," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "They liked the fight."
Corey Perry scored twice to help the Stanley Cup champion Ducks split the NHL's season-opening series at the O2 Arena, which is owned by Kings owner Philip Anschutz. The Kings won 4-1 Saturday - the first time the NHL played a regular-season game in Europe.
Chris Kunitz and Travis Moen also scored for Anaheim, and Mike Cammalleri got his third goal of the season for the Kings.
"It was an entertaining game from a fan's standpoint," Carlyle said. "I thought they got to see a little bit of everything over the two games."
But it wasn't 10 goals in two days that most of the capacity crowd came to see.
Ducks winger George Parros and Kings forward Scott Thornton provided the main entertainment, dropping their gloves near center ice and pounding each other while the crowd stood and roared. Both received five-minute major penalties.
"I'm sure they'd heard a lot about North American hockey, and the NHL," Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. "And certainly, you saw the reaction when they did (fight). It was nice to give them a little bit of everything, I guess."
The Kings helped the Ducks in the first period by spending eight minutes in the penalty box, including twice giving Anaheim a two-man advantage.
Los Angeles killed the first one, but Perry scored shortly after Lubomir Visnovsky came back on the ice to make it 5-on-4. Pronger got the puck to Andy McDonald, who then sent a shot toward goal that Perry controlled and redirected past Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera.
"We took it upon ourselves to get the puck in deep and get on that forecheck we are known for," Pronger said.
Kunitz made it 2-0 on the power play at 15:29, putting back a rebound with Brady Murray in the box for holding a stick.
Perry scored the third goal at 2:53 of the second period, stuffing in a shot from the right, and Moen added the fourth at 4:10 by sending a wrist shot past LaBarbera on the glove side.
"We got inside, and we established a good grind," Carlyle said. "That seems to be the mandate for our group to have success."
Cammalleri, who had two goals in the Kings' opening win, scored at 8:57 of the second with a wrist shot to the glove side.
"Our team is a team that's getting better," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "And I think we showed this weekend that we can be a force to be reckoned with."
The fans made their allegiance known, wearing the colors of their favorite teams. But besides the jerseys of the Ducks, Kings, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, there were plenty of Manchester Phoenix and Belfast Giants shirts - two of the 10 teams in Britain's Elite Ice Hockey League.
This is the fourth time the league has opened its season outside North America, the other times in Japan (1997, 1998 and 2000).
The Ducks now head to the United States for three road games - at Detroit on Wednesday, at Columbus on Friday and at Pittsburgh on Saturday. Anaheim's home opener is Oct. 10 against Boston.
The Kings warmed up for the London series by winning both games in an exhibition tournament in Austria. They have almost a week off before hosting St. Louis on Saturday.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.