Shawn Thornton, Fernando Pisani

Chirp/Counter-chirp: John Scott, Shawn Thornton exchange barbs

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It’s either a big shame or a great relief that the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks likely will only see each other once or twice a year, unless they meet in the Stanley Cup finals. If you’re a fan of fights and bad blood, it’s a disappointment; if you think that fisticuffs do little but detract from the high-level skill of hockey players, you might be glad they only meet on seldom occasions.

Despite the fact that the Bruins handed the ‘Hawks a tough (but probably not paralyzing) loss, it seems like the “chirping” between Shawn Thornton and the Blackhawks bench stole the show. This post has a good rundown of the events, but the basic gist is that the Chicago bench heckled Thornton as he left the ice after enduring a gash that forced him to get 40 stitches. Before you consider the Blackhawks bench totally indefensible, their vitriolic response stemmed from frustrations related to Thornton reportedly picking on far-from-gritty forward Fernando Pisani.

(It still seems silly of Chicago players to do so, especially with Thornton being a bloody mess.)

CSN Boston’s Joe Haggerty provides the latest of the chirp-fest, as he caught up with towering Blackhawks defenseman/enforcer John Scott. Despite being a healthy scratch during the game, the 6-foot-8 blueline bruiser had some choice – if periodically perplexing – words for Thornton.

“He said that? That’s fine. He can say what he wants,” said Hawks enforcer Scott to the Chicago Tribune. “He’s going after some of our littlest guys on our team to start a fight. He’s trying to challenge [Fernando] Pisani to a fight. What’s that say about him?

“He’s Mr. Tough Guy and he’s trying to challenge Pisani. If I’m in the lineup, he’s more than welcome to come chirp at me. I’ll kick the [bleep] out of him.”

(snip)

The smack-talking defenseman said somewhat confusedly that Thornton was a “stand up guy”, but also got what was coming to him when he suffered an injury that could have given him permanent sight damage had it been a few inches south of his forehead.

“I don’t know if [I would chirp at an injured player], Thornton is a stand-up guy,” said Scott. “I don’t know who said anything, but he was kind of being cheap that game. So whatever. He gets what comes to him.”

Thornton’s response to all this: “No comment.”

Wait, Scott thinks is a stand-up guy but still thinks that Thornton was being cheap and that he deserves of a bleep-worthy beating? OK, then. Actually, Thornton did have something of a comment later on, as Haggerty shared on Twitter.

Texted Shawn Thornton for response to Jon Scott’s “kick the (bleep) out of him” comments, and B’s enforcer 1st text back said it all: “Who?”

That’s a good one-liner, but considering the fact that Scott is listed at a height just short of Zdeno Chara, something tells me Thornton would be one of the people who would take notice of him if he did play. Scott isn’t making a name for himself in the league by playing shut-down defense, but rather for using his enormous size to beat other players to a bloody pulp.

In other words, if the two face each other, it’s quite possible one of the teams’ benches would have another chance to chirp away at a bloodied player. Whenever they actually meet again, that is.

WATCH LIVE: Canada-USA (IIHF World Hockey Championship)

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A huge tilt on day one of the World Hockey Championships, as Canada and the USA clash in Russia. You can watch the game online using the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Canada came away with a gold medal in last year’s tournament while the United States took home the bronze. Of course, each team’s roster changes significantly every year.

The USA’s next game is tomorrow against Belarus. Canada will play Sunday against Hungary.

PHT Morning Skate: Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

–Here’s a feel-good story. Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is taking a girl with Down syndrome to prom. (Sportsnet)

–NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire does a lot of traveling during the playoffs. (Sports Illustrated)

–It sounds like ESPN’s Mike Wilbon isn’t a fan of the Coyotes’ latest front office hire. (ESPN)

–Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Stars and Blues. (Top)

–Former referee Kerry Fraser wants the old charging rule to make a return. (TSN)

–Hockey is becoming more common in the North Carolina Sports Hall-of-Fame. (Charlotte Observer)

–Leafs prospect Mitch Marner’s family home caught fire prior to Game 1 of the OHL final. (Sportsnet)

Video: Predators even series with Sharks after franchise-record triple OT thriller

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The marathon is over. The Nashville Predators are back in the series.

The Predators have evened their best-of-seven second-round series with the San Jose Sharks at two-games apiece after Mike Fisher finally broke the deadlock with 8:48 remaining in the third overtime of an instant classic in these 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Fisher buried a rebound in front of the San Jose net to give the Predators a massive 4-3 win on home ice.

The goal capped off a frenetic (and lengthy) overtime session that was nothing but utter chaos at times in the opening extra frame. By the end, Fisher was almost too exhausted to describe the winner. Can you blame him?

Twice, the Sharks, who could’ve put the Predators on the brink of elimination with a win, thought they had scored the winner. Joel Ward couldn’t quite bury a wrap-around attempt before just about every player on the ice, it seemed, converged in the Nashville crease — some working to put the puck in the net, others working to keep the puck out.

The puck, somehow, never crossed the line, though some members of the Sharks raised their arms in celebration as if they had the decisive goal.

Later in the first OT period, the Sharks again thought they had won the game, only to have a lengthy and controversial review determine Joe Pavelski “…made incidental contact with Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne before the puck crossed the goal line, preventing Rinne from doing his job in the crease,” according to the league.

Adding to it all, the Predators were unsuccessful on two OT power plays. That opened the door for the Sharks, who were awarded power plays on two Shea Weber penalties in overtime but also couldn’t capitalize.

The Predators were less than five minutes away from losing this game in regulation, and going down 3-1 in the series, before James Neal tied it with 4:21 remaining.

‘We earned it,’ says Spezza after Stars regroup to even series with Blues

St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) looks on as Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza, second from right, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
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The Dallas Stars faced the possibility of going home facing elimination. That was the scenario Thursday, as the Stars battled the St. Louis Blues in Game 4.

The previous game didn’t go well at all for the Stars. They were thumped 6-1, as things turned nasty between the two teams, and, most importantly, they fell behind in the series. There were serious questions surrounding their goalie duo that includes Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. And Tyler Seguin was ruled out for Game 4.

Yes, things weren’t working in favor of the Stars.

But after a poor start in the opening period Thursday, the Stars fought back with Cody Eakin playing the unlikely overtime hero in a crucial Game 4 win. And Lehtonen was able to settle in after allowing that Vladimir Tarasenko goal in the opening period, stopping 24 of 26 shots.

“You really do have to stay level,” Jason Spezza told the Dallas Morning News.

“It’s the best two-of-three now, it’s momentum swings. We survived some breakaways, and the last two periods we played right and we earned it.”