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Artem Anisimov apologizes for goal celebration

Artem Anisimov of the New York Rangers celebrates

Artem Anisimov of the New York Rangers celebrates scoring a goal in the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 8, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Artem Anisimov said the rifle-like pointing of his stick in celebration of his goal Thursday against Tampa was wrong and apologized to the Lightning for his actions.

"I just want to say I apologize to Tampa," Anisimov said after Friday’s practice. "I didn’t mean something bad. It’s just my celebration. I score a goal and I want to do something unusual, celebrate on ice. I say one more time I apologize to Tampa. I never do this celebration again, it’s a good lesson for me. I do some different stuff I have in my pocket, no more shooting."

Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier was the first player to confront Anisimov after the incident, which resulted in five players receiving penalties. "He points his stick like he fires at our net, I'm sure his teammates and their coach was not impressed with that,'' Lecavalier told the Tampa Tribune. "We were offended and it's disrespectful. It's not like he was happy to score a goal and did some type of (fist) pump; it was directly at our net and our goalie."

Anisimov said he was not directing his gesture toward anyone. "I point my stick to the net, not for the goalie, not for Vinny," he said.

New York Sports