Bruins get some revenge on Cooke, not much else

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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NHL ROUNDUP

After their much-anticipated retaliation against Matt Cooke, the Boston Bruins showed little passion in their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night, this even though the Bruins are fighting for a playoff berth.

Cooke, whose blindside hit sidelined Boston's Marc Savard indefinitely with a Grade 2 concussion in Pittsburgh on March 7, took the ice for the first time 1:53 into the game as fans booed loudly. Just five seconds later, he and Shawn Thornton brushed against each other in the faceoff circle to the left of the Penguins net.

Pittsburgh Penguins' forward Matt Cooke (right) scraps with the Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton Thursday night in Boston. - Photo by The Associated Press

After their much-anticipated retaliation against Matt Cooke, the Boston Bruins showed little passion in their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night, this even though the Bruins are fighting for a playoff berth.

Cooke, whose blindside hit sidelined Boston's Marc Savard indefinitely with a Grade 2 concussion in Pittsburgh on March 7, took the ice for the first time 1:53 into the game as fans booed loudly. Just five seconds later, he and Shawn Thornton brushed against each other in the faceoff circle to the left of the Penguins net.

They dropped their gloves and, in a brief exchange, traded punches before Cooke's helmet fell off and he went to the ice. Thornton, who kept swinging while Cooke was crouched in a vulnerable position, was given a 10-minute misconduct. Both also received fighting majors.

After serving his penalty, Cooke skated back to his bench to more boos at 7:50 of the first period. Then, just 44 seconds later, Tyler Kennedy scored his 10th goal of the season when he lifted a shot from the right circle over goalie Tuukka Rask.

That was all Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins needed against the Bruins are eighth in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the New York Rangers and Atlanta for the final spot.

Fleury had to make just 17 saves to post Pittsburgh's first shutout of the season.

Boston captain Zdeno Chara, in an apparent attempt to fire up his teammates, traded punches with Mike Rupp at 11:43 of the second period. It didn't work as the Bruins generated few chances before Alex Ponikarovsky scored in the waning moments of the period.

Rupp scored for the Penguins in the third

During that final period, fans who had urged the Bruins to keep going after Cooke began booing the home team.

Thrashers 6 Senators 3

At Atlanta, Nik Antropov and Colby Armstrong scored two goals apiece, and the Thrashers beat the slumping Ottawa Senators.

Evgeny Artyukhin and Jim Slater also scored for the Thrashers, three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Chris Kelly, Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Phillips scored for Ottawa. The Senators have lost seven of eight games since the Olympic break, including the last four.

Maple Leafs 2 Devils 1 (SO)

At Toronto, Phil Kessel scored once in regulation and again in a shootout as the Maple Leafs beat New Jersey.

Nikolai Kulemin and John Mitchell also scored shootout goals for the Leafs, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 24 saves in regulation.

Yann Danis made 24 saves for the Devils in place of Martin Brodeur, who was given the night off.

Toronto has won five of its last six games.

Hurricanes 4 Capitals 3 (OT)

At Raleigh, N.C., Ray Whitney scored at 4:02 of overtime as Carolina beat a team Washington missing suspended captain Alex Ovechkin.

Eric Fehr forced the overtime for Washington, scoring with 10 seconds left in regulation and goalie Semyon Varlamov off for an extra attacker.

Washington played without scoring leader Ovechkin, serving the second of a two-game suspension for his hit on Chicago defenceman Brian Campbell.

Eric Staal had a goal and set up Whitney's winner, and Brett Carson and Chad LaRose also scored for Carolina. Defenceman Joe Corvo, obtained from the Hurricanes in a March 3 trade, had Washington's first two goals.

Blues 4 Rangers 3

At New York, Paul Kariya scored his 400th NHL goal to snap a third-period tie and St. Louis took advantage of uncharacteristically shaky goalie Henrik Lundqvist, scoring four times on its first 14 shots.

Just 1:13 after Wade Redden got the Rangers even at 3-3, Kariya took a feed in front from T.J. Oshie and scored his milestone goal. Brad Boyes and defencemen Mike Weaver and Erik Johnson also scored, and Ty Conklin made 26 saves.

Marian Gaborik had a goal and two assists, and Ryan Callahan also scored for New York. The Rangers are tied with Atlanta for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Boston with 11 games left.

Organizations: Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL New York Rangers Maple Leafs Ottawa Senators

Geographic location: Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta Washington Toronto New York Ottawa New Jersey Raleigh, N.C. Chicago St. Louis

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