Shawn Thornton gets 40 stitches to face
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton received more than 40 stitches to close a nasty cut above his right eye after he was hit by the skate blade of Chicago Blackhawks forward Fernando Pisani in the second period of Boston's 3-0 win Tuesday night at TD Garden.
"I'm fine," Thornton said after the game. "I guess I was lucky. It could have been worse. It could have been on the eye. No headache, no concussion, no nothing. It was just throbbing a little bit from getting stitches, but nothing bad."
Thornton was on the forecheck in the early minutes of the second period when he and Pisani collided behind the Chicago net. Thornton quickly got to his feet and started toward the Bruins' bench, leaving a trail of blood behind him.
Referee Don Van Massenhoven assisted Thornton off the ice. As the two skated past the Blackhawks' bench, a Chicago player shouted something at Thornton, and the Bruins' pugilist took exception. He attempted to get past the ref and at the bench, but he was held back before exiting the ice.
"Something was said," Thornton said. "Obviously I can't swear when I talk to [the media]. There was some stuff said that I'm not happy about. I'm going to find out who it was and I will deal with it in my own way."
Thornton said Van Massenhoven also was upset by the comments coming from the Chicago bench.
"He heard it," Thornton said. "He didn't know who it was, either. He actually yelled at their bench. I appreciate it. Those guys on their team chirp a lot. I don't know if it is right when someone's face is half across the other side of their face, but it's a tough game and people have to live with their actions. If you guys ever find out who it is, don't be afraid to send me a Christmas card."
Thornton called the incident an accident, and he's hoping he won't miss any games. He's expected to be examined either Wednesday or Thursday. The stitch job -- in the shape of an "S" -- was impressive, and Thornton gave kudos to team doctor Lars Richardson for a clean procedure.
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.