Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau said on Saturday he couldn't resist an invitation to fight from Tampa Bay's Brayden Point for a strategic reason.
"He asked me to fight, so I couldn’t turn that down," Pageau told reporters after the game. "I think we’re winning with having him sitting in the bench for five minutes. He’s obviously one of their best players… to have him sit for five minutes, it’s good for our team."
— Alex M (@nhlsensandstuff) October 12, 2019
Pageau later added a goal and an assist for a Gordie Howe hat trick, which he said may be his last for a while.
"I don't fight a lot, so the odds are not good for me to get a couple more of those," he added, via Sporting News' Murray Pam. "It's always fun to get your name associated with [Howe's]."
Pageau, who had a strong showing in the fight, is currently tied for the Senators' team scoring lead with four points in four games.
The bout occured about halfway through the Senators' 4-2 win over the Lightning. According to Hockey Fights, it was Pageau's first fight since Oct. 4, 2016 and the third of his career.