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New York Rangers' Artem Anisimov apologizes to Tampa Bay Lightning for gun-shooting celebration

PHILADELPHIA — Rangers center Artem Anisimov on Friday apologized to the Lightning, a day after his goal celebration sparked a fracas during the second period of Tampa Bay's 3-2 shootout victory.

Speaking to reporters in New York for the first time, Anisimov said he meant no disrespect.

"I just want to apologize to Tampa. I didn't mean something by it," he said. "It's just my celebration, and when I score goals, I want to do something unusual. I apologize to Tampa."

"He did something wrong, so of course we appreciate that," Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said after the team practice in Philadelphia ahead of tonight's game with the Flyers. "He's a young guy and the fact that he's saying it is good."

Anisimov, 23 and in his third full NHL season, used his stick as a mock rifle after he scored a shorthanded goal to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead and figuratively fired at Tampa Bay goaltender Mathieu Garon.

Garon said he did not see Anisimov's celebration, which sparked a confrontation with Lecavalier, defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and Steve Downie, each of whom took turns trying to get at Anisimov. The episode produced 38 penalty minutes, with Anisimov and Downie getting 10-minute misconducts.

Anisimov said he was not trying to show up the Lightning but was imitating the goal celebration of Ilya Gorokhov, a former Yaroslavl teammate in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

"I watched him, and I liked it," Anisimov said, "and I told myself when I play NHL and I score, I want to do the same thing.

"I'll never do that celebration again. It's a good lesson for me — no more shooting."

Lecavalier said he spoke after the game to Rangers center and former Lightning teammate Brad Richards. He said Richards told him Anisimov got a good talking to by some of his teammates.

"I don't think their team was really impressed with that," Lecavalier said.

DOWNIE FINE? Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman spoke with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan about Downie's part in the fracas and believes Downie could be fined. Downie was sitting on top of the side boards near the Tampa Bay bench as the confrontation unfolded and left to join it as it heated up.

game highlights: Defenseman Dennis Wideman scored three power-play goals and had an assist, and the host Capitals beat the Maple Leafs 4-2. … Jason Pominville scored 2:19 into overtime to give the host Sabres a 2-1 win over the Panthers.

around the league: Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is sidelined indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms. He was scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh to see the doctors who have been working with the Penguins' Sidney Crosby during his concussion and recovery. Pronger missed six games with an eye injury this season and had left-knee surgery last month that was expected to keep him out for another two weeks. … The Hurricanes traded underperforming defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Canadiens for defenseman Jaroslav Spacek basically to dump Kaberle's three-year, $12.75 million deal signed in the offseason, Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer. "I should've known better," Rutherford said of giving the deal to Kaberle, "in the sense of where he was in his career." … Bruins forward Daniel Paille sustained a concussion on a hit he took from Panthers forward Krys Barch on Thursday and is day to day, coach Claude Julien said.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

at Capitals 1 2 1 4
Maple Leafs 0 1 1 2

First Period1, Washington, Wideman 4 (Knuble, Backstrom), 12:33 (pp). PenaltiesWard, Was (closing hand on puck), 4:35; Gardiner, Tor (slashing), 12:00; Schenn, Tor (roughing), 17:22; Chimera, Was (roughing), 17:22.

Second Period2, Washington, Wideman 5 (Ovechkin, Laich), 1:49 (pp). 3, Toronto, Kessel 18 (Bozak, Lupul), 12:52. 4, Washington, Backstrom 11 (Wideman, Semin), 18:50 (pp). PenaltiesToronto bench, served by Frattin (too many men), 1:38; Semin, Was (hooking), 10:30; Armstrong, Tor (high-sticking), 16:51; Crabb, Tor (boarding), 18:12.

Third Period5, Toronto, Franson 3, 13:16. 6, Washington, Wideman 6 (Carlson, Backstrom), 18:41 (pp). PenaltiesLiles, Tor (interference), 10:13; Crabb, Tor (high-sticking), 17:46; Phaneuf, Tor (roughing), 19:45; Carlson, Was (roughing), 19:45. Shots on GoalToronto 8-12-8—28. Washington 6-12-7—25. Power-play opportunitiesToronto 0 of 2; Washington 4 of 6. GoaliesToronto, Reimer 4-2-2 (25 shots-21 saves). Washington, Vokoun 12-7-0 (28-26).

at Sabres 1 0 0 1 2
Panthers 0 1 0 0 0

First Period1, Buffalo, Roy 7 (Stafford, Ennis), 17:50. PenaltiesFlorida bench, served by Santorelli (too many men), 1:17; McNabb, Buf (goaltender interference), 6:06; Dadonov, Fla (hooking), 9:59; Kennedy, Fla (high-sticking), 13:29.

Second Period2, Florida, Garrison 9 (Fleischmann, Versteeg), 15:48 (pp). PenaltiesSturm, Fla (hooking), 8:17; Ehrhoff, Buf (roughing), 15:24; Hecht, Buf (holding), 15:34.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesVanek, Buf (high-sticking), 5:50; Kopecky, Fla (hooking), 13:46.

Overtime3, Buffalo, Pominville 10 (Szczechura, Leopold), 2:19. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalFlorida 5-10-6-2—23. Buffalo 7-6-3-4—20. Power-play opportunitiesFlorida 1 of 4; Buffalo 0 of 5. GoaliesFlorida, Clemmensen 3-0-1 (20 shots-18 saves). Buffalo, Miller 7-6-1 (23-22).

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Southeast W L OT Pts GF GA

Florida 16 8 4 36 80 69

Washington 14 12 1 29 84 87

Winnipeg 12 11 4 28 77 83

Tampa Bay 12 14 2 26 73 91

Carolina 9 17 4 22 77 104

Atlantic W L OT Pts GF GA

Philadelphia 17 7 3 37 96 79

Pittsburgh 16 9 4 36 88 72

N.Y. Rangers 15 6 4 34 73 58

New Jersey 14 12 1 29 70 78

N.Y. Islanders 9 11 6 24 59 82

Northeast W L OT Pts GF GA

Boston 17 9 1 35 89 56

Toronto 15 10 3 33 89 90

Buffalo 14 11 2 30 76 74

Ottawa 13 12 4 30 90 101

Montreal 11 11 7 29 72 76

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central W L OT Pts GF GA

Chicago 17 8 4 38 96 90

Detroit 17 9 1 35 82 61

St. Louis 16 9 3 35 70 62

Nashville 13 11 4 30 74 77

Columbus 8 16 4 20 68 94

Northwest W L OT Pts GF GA

xMinnesota 18 7 3 39 71 61

Vancouver 17 10 1 35 93 70

Edmonton 13 12 3 29 79 76

Calgary 13 13 2 28 70 80

Colorado 13 14 1 27 77 87

Pacific W L OT Pts GF GA

Phoenix 15 10 3 33 76 72

xDallas 15 10 1 31 69 72

xLos Angeles 13 10 4 30 62 61

xSan Jose 14 9 1 29 68 58

Anaheim 8 15 5 21 65 92

 x-late game not included; two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.

Late Wednesday

Carolina 5, Edmonton 3

Thursday

New Jersey 5, Ottawa 4, SO

Tampa Bay 3, Rangers 2, SO

Florida 2, Boston 0

Chicago 3, Islanders 2, OT

Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2

Nashville 4, Columbus 3, OT

Detroit 5, Phoenix 2

Vancouver 4, Mont. 3, SO

St. Louis 4, Anaheim 2

Calgary 3, Colorado 2

Minn. at Los Angeles, late

Dallas at San Jose, late

Today

Toronto at Washington, 7

Florida at Buffalo, 7:30

Carolina at Winnipeg, 8:30

Colorado at Edmonton, 9:30

New York Rangers' Artem Anisimov apologizes to Tampa Bay Lightning for gun-shooting celebration 12/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2011 10:26pm]
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