Video Shows Rangers Fan Sucker Punch Lightning Fan After Game 5 Loss

By Jason Hall

June 10, 2022

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five
Photo: Getty Images

A New York Rangers fan was arrested after sucker punching a Tampa Bay Lightning fan following Game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (June 9) night.

James Anastasio, 29, of Staten Island, was charged with two counts of assault, disorderly conduct and harassment in relation to the incident, as well as a second incident involving a Good Samaritan, NBC New York reports.

Twitter user Scott Kaplan shared footage of the incident, which shows Anastasio, wearing a red Rangers t-shirt, walking through MSG before suddenly throwing a left-handed punch at another man wearing a Lightning jersey to his right.

The Lightning fan immediately drops to the ground and appears to lose consciousness before several people in the area -- mostly wearing Rangers jerseys -- stop to check on him.

Anastasio walked away after the punch was thrown and was reportedly followed by a Good Samaritan who attempted to stop him, but was also punched in the face before police and security were able to locate and arrest Anastasio inside the arena, NBC New York reports.

Police confirmed the Lightning fan and the Good Samaritan both declined medical attention after being punched by Anastasio.

Tempers flared between the Lightning and Rangers players as several players engaged in fights on the ice as time expired, including Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos and New York winger Alexis Lafrenière, who shared several punches before being separated by officials.

The back-to-back defending champion Lightning scored twice during the final two minutes of Thursday's game to take a 3-2 lead in the series and move within one game of clinching their third consecutive consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearance as the series shifts back to Amalie Arena for Game 6 on Saturday (June 11).

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