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Fans brawl over a stick at end of game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ducks



A nice little spectacle at the end of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Ducks, when fans in the stands brawled after Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer apparently tried to do something nice for a little girl.

In case you haven't seen the action, a fine slow-motion view is at this web site:

In a nutshell, what happened was this: Niedermayer, after being named the game's No. 1 star, apparently tried to give his stick to a little girl in the first row of the stands. But as he pushed the stick over the glass, a man grabbed it and the guy behind him started throwing punches.

Lightning goaltenders coach Cap Raeder was in the press box on the other side of the arena waiting for the elevator to take him down to where the locker rooms are and said he had a perfect view. Here is his account.

"They were really throwing some punches," he said. "There were some real haymakers. People were jumping on people. And it happened instantly. It wasn't like there was an argument. The instant the stick came in, it was on. I saw one girl jump down two rows right on a guy's back."

We're sure Lightning fans would never engage in such conduct.

And by the way, coach Rick Tocchet said goaltender Mike Smith likely will play Saturday against the Hurricanes. Likely Antero Niittymaki, 13-0 against the Thrashers, will play Sunday in Atlanta.

Also, Ryan Malone, a day late, was given credit for the third-period goal Thursday that tied the game with Anaheim at 3-3 and sent it into overtime. It originally was credited to Marty St. Louis. 

[Last modified: Sunday, December 20, 2009 12:15am]


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