Monday, March 10, 2008

Avery Soaks His Fans And Backstrom Soaks His Own Team

Strange Sunday in the NHL.

Sean Avery, apparently angered by a second-period penalty call against him during the New York Rangers ' 1-0 shootout victory over the Bruins yesterday at Madison Square Garden, hurled two water bottles from the penalty box, one of which whizzed by the heads of three small children seated behind the box.

That bottle smashed against a wall, soaking customers, and angering an unidentified father of two of them, who came down to the glass and demonstratively showed Avery the bottle.

The family - sought out by Avery after the period - was given one of his sticks and, according to Rangers spokesman John Rosasco, was satisfied with the response. The family left after the second period, and Avery was not available in the locker room after the game to comment.

There are tough losses, and then there are heartbreaking ones. Somehow, the Washington Capitals managed to squeeze both varieties into the same weekend.

One day after blowing a late lead in Boston, the Capitals outdid themselves against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center, where Nicklas Backstrom accidentally scored into his own net with 28 seconds remaining to deal his team a devastating 4-2 defeat in one of the most anticipated games of the regular season.

"That was officially heartbreaking," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I feel bad for Nick. He was doing everything that he could to prevent it and ends up shooting it in his own net."

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