Fans booing and shouting from the moment the puck drops. Close games that turn on a single bad bounce. And, oh yes, a couple scraps here and there.
This is what happens when you get together two beloved, talented hockey teams like the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks.
In the teams' second meeting in three days, Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 20 saves for his first shutout of the season to help Anaheim to a taut, testy 2-0 win at San Jose.
"Every time we play Anaheim, it seems like it's a really tight game," Sharks rookie Torrey Mitchell said. "One goal, one hit or one bounce can win the game for you."
Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry scored for the Stanley Cup champions, who traded punches and hard checks with the Sharks again. The clubs' previous three meetings all went to shootouts, and they'll get their third matchup in seven days Saturday night in San Jose.
In Tuesday's other NHL games, it was: Carolina 3, Toronto 2, in overtime; Calgary 3, Columbus 1; Ottawa 3, Boston 2; Dallas 2, Edmonton 1, in a shootout; Vancouver 5, New Jersey 0; Minnesota 3, Nashville 2; the New York Rangers 4, Pittsburgh 0; Florida 3, Montreal 2; Phoenix 3, Philadelphia 2; and Atlanta 6, Tampa Bay 2.
Scott Niedermayer picked up an assist in his second game since returning to the Ducks, leading a strong defensive game to hold the Sharks scoreless for the first time all season.
"It's one of the battles of California," said Ryan, who also scored on the Sharks two nights earlier in San Jose's shootout victory in Anaheim. "I've played most of my games against the Sharks now, and you can tell it's a rivalry. The second you walk on the ice, everybody is booing."
In Raleigh, N.C., Carolina's Scott Walker scored in overtime after the Hurricanes scored twice in the final 1:25 of regulation to give Carolina a dramatic 3-2 victory.
With Carolina on the power play, Walker's deflection of Eric Staal's slap shot came 32.6 seconds before the game would have gone to a shootout.
Carolina's Cory Stillman and Ray Whitney scored less than a minute apart at the end of the third.
Boyd Devereaux and Tomas Kaberle had Toronto's goals. It was the Maple Leafs' seventh overtime loss of the season, most in the NHL.
Jarome Iginla scored his team-leading 24th goal and Miikka Kiprusoff made 36 saves to help Calgary finish a perfect, six-game road trip.
Adrian Aucoin and Alex Tanguay also scored for Calgary, which is one win shy of tying the franchise's longest road winning streak of seven, set in 1988.
Kristian Huselius had two assists for the Flames, and Iginla extended his goal-scoring streak to five games.
In Boston, Jason Spezza scored a pair of goals to lead Ottawa to its sixth straight win, in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's top two teams.
Luke Richardson's goal broke a 1-1 tie midway into the second and Spezza scored his second goal on a power play in the third. The Senators made it last with an uncharacteristic, close-checking style.
Martin Gerber made 26 saves for Ottawa, which started its winning streak after losing a season-high seven consecutive games.
Chuck Kobasew scored his team-leading 13th goal for the Bruins.
In Edmonton, Alberta, Sergei Zubov scored the only goal in a shootout to give Dallas its fourth straight win.
Jeff Halpern had a goal for Dallas and Dustin Penner scored for Edmonton, which set a record by appearing in its fourth straight shootout.
The Stars have won six of eight and 12 of their past 16. Edmonton's three-game winning streak ended.
Markus Naslund overcame the flu to score twice and Roberto Luongo returned from a rib injury to make 31 saves - his fourth shutout in his past five home starts.
Ryan Kesler, Trevor Linden and defenseman Aaron Miller - with his first goal in more than four years - also scored for the Canucks, who had one win in five games after winning 11 of the previous 14.
In St. Paul, Minn., Marian Gaborik, Eric Belanger and Brian Rolston all scored in the third period to bring Minnesota back from two goals down and give coach Jacques Lemaire a victory in his 1,000th career game.
Nashville, which has lost four straight, led 2-0 after two periods on goals from Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont.
In New York, Scott Gomez scored twice and New York held Pittsburgh to five shots through two periods.
Henrik Lundqvist, back in goal after sitting out one game with the flu, needed to make only 18 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 13th of his NHL career.
Martin Straka and Chris Drury each had a goal and assist, and Michal Rozsival set up three goals for New York.
Sidney Crosby was held without a point for the sixth time this season, but fourth in six games. He has only one goal in nine games.
In Montreal, Jozef Stumpel and Brett McLean scored first-period goals and Tomas Vokoun made 23 saves.
Stumpel scored his fifth goal of the season on a 2-on-1 with Panthers captain Olli Jokinen. Stephen Weiss also scored for Florida.
In Philadelphia, Peter Mueller scored at 6:25 of the third period to break a tie.
Mueller punched in a rebound during a wild goalmouth scramble after goaltender Marty Biron had turned away shots by Zbynek Michalek and Steven Reinprecht.
Keith Yandle and Fredrik Sjostrom also scored for the Coyotes, who have won four of five, all on the road.
Scott Hartnell and Mike Richards scored for the Flyers.
In Atlanta, Garnet Exelby, Mark Recchi and Slava Kozlov scored first-period goals to help Atlanta end its four-game losing streak.
Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk added his league-leading 27th goal in the third period.
Recchi, who has five goals, scored his third goal in four games since being claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh on Dec. 8.