When you lose count of the stitches you need at 40, it’s usually not a good night. But Bruins forward Shawn Thornton knows it could have been a lot worse.
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Thornton was cut a by Fernando Pisani’s skate early in the second period of Boston’s 3-0 win over Chicago Tuesday at the Garden, ending his night as he needed to head off for medical attention to close the deep laceration on his forehead above his right eye.
"I’m fine, I guess I was lucky," Thornton said. "It could have been a little lower, could have been on my eye. And no headache, no concussion."
Thornton, who said he "lost count at 40" when asked how many stitches the cut required, was actually off to a good start to the night, throwing his weight around with three hits in just four shifts lasting 2:36. He also had two shots on goal, nearly scoring his 10th goal of the season on a point-blank chance just seconds before being injured. As play head down the other end of the ice, he became tangled up with Pisani behind the Chicago net and fell into Pisani’s skate.
"I went to finish my hit on him and he fell and I don’t know if I tripped over a stick or tripped over my own two feet, but I fell on top of the back of his skate blade," Thornton said. "It was accidental. Stuff like that happens when the game’s moving so fast. If I had scored the goal right before that then none of this would have happened."
Thornton knew right away that the cut was serious, but also knew the blade had missed his eye.
"I could tell by the blood that it was a bad cut, but I knew nothing else was hit but my forehead," Thornton said. "But I know how lucky I am."
Thornton’s relief quickly turned to anger when someone on the Blackhawks bench made some derogatory comments about the injury as Thornton skated off. Thornton attempted to break free of referee Don Van Massenhoven at get at the bench, but was restrained.
"Someone said, obviously I can’t swear while I’m talking to you guys, but there was some stuff said that I’m not too happy about," Thornton said. "If I ever find out who it was I’ll deal with it in my own way."
Van Massenhoven didn’t penalize Thornton for his attempt to get at the bench, but also didn’t call any penalties on Chicago for the comments.