BOSTON – The Bruins wasted little time retaliating against the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke for his blindside hit that left Boston centre Marc Savard with a Grade 2 concussion.
In the teams’ first meeting since Savard was hurt by a shoulder-to-head hit March 7 in Pittsburgh, Cooke and Boston’s Shawn Thornton dropped their gloves at 1:58 of the first period Thursday night, five seconds after Cooke took the ice for the first time to loud boos.
During a brief exchange, one punch knocked Cooke’s helmet off and he dropped to the ice while Thornton kept swinging with Cooke crouched in a vulnerable position. Each was given a major penalty for fighting and Thornton got a 10-minute misconduct for continuing to swing.
Savard, Boston’s top playmaking centre, is out indefinitely after being hurt with 5:37 left in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win. Cooke was not penalized or suspended for what Bruins coach Claude Julien called “definitely a dirty hit.”