While it was a big game in the standings for both teams, it was the Hoffman-Karlsson reunion that drew most of the attention.
Both players were dealt from Canada's capital in separate trades in 2018 amid ugly off-ice circumstances, as Karlsson and his wife filed an order of protection in an Ottawa court against Hoffman's then-girlfriend, alleging harassment and cyberbullying.
The case was ultimately dismissed, but Hoffman circled Sunday's meeting on his calendar, as Karlsson missed both games between the Panthers and Sharks last season due to injury.
"I have been thinking about this game for a long time," Hoffman said, according to The Athletic's George Richards. "It is a part of hockey."
Hoffman grabbed Karlsson early in the contest and challenged him to drop the gloves, though no fight developed.
"He actually played tonight and I asked if he wanted to go and obviously he did not," Hoffman said. "I chased him around for an entire shift, kept asking and asking. He wouldn't. He kept saying 'I'm not fighting you.'"
Neither Karlsson nor Hoffman has been credited with an NHL scrap in their respective careers, according to Hockeyfights.com.
The Sharks and Panthers are scheduled to meet again Feb. 17 in San Jose.