. He jumped and punched the air after sendingin Announcements Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:37 am
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BOSTON -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik was expected to travel home with the team after being taken off the ice on a stretcher after being pulled down and punched by Bostons Shawn Thornton in the opening period of Saturdays 3-2 loss. The club said on its Twitter site that he "returned from the hospital and will be travelling with the team back to Pittsburgh." During the game, the Penguins said on their site that he was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where "he is alert and conscious." It happened in a wild sequence of events. Bostons Brad Marchand was injured on the other end when Thornton came skating up quickly from centre ice and grabbed Orpik from behind, knocking him down backward before punching him. Thornton, dressed in a suit and speaking very quietly in front of his locker after the game, said he was "sorry" for what happened. "Its hard for me to talk about right now. I cant say Im sorry enough. Im sure Ill be criticized, but its true," he said. "I felt awful. It wasnt my intention. I know Brooksie. Ive gotten to know him the last seven years here. I skated with him during the lockout. I texted him a couple of times. Its not what I wanted to see or anyone to see." In TV replays, it appeared that Orpik didnt move after taking the punch. He also appeared hit his head on the ice when he fell. Thornton was given a match penalty. Thornton has a hearing with the NHL. "I hope hes doing all right," Thornton. "I heard hes conscious and talking and Im happy about that." Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Orpik has a concussion. "I think he was out on the ice for a period of time," Bylsma said. "So I think that means hes got a concussion, for sure." Players immediately called for medical assistance for Orpik. He was surrounded by members of both teams medical staffs before he was taken off on a stretcher after about a 10-minute delay. Pittsburghs James Neal was assessed a kneeing penalty for his hit on Marchand. "I mean, what do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him?" Neal said. "No, Im going by him. I dont get out of the way, like I said. I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but Im not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that." In the games opening minute, Orpik hit Bostons Loui Eriksson with his shoulder near the wingers head as he turned to move up the ice. "I think thats a big reason why," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said when asked why Thornton may have reacted like he did. Eriksson was stunned and went to the bench dazed before heading to the dressing room with a trainer taking one arm to help his balance as he got up from the bench. Eriksson didnt return to the game. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Eriksson left with a concussion and will not travel to Toronto for Sundays game. A few seconds after Orpiks hit on Eriksson, Boston captain Zdeno Chara charged at the defenceman and drew a cross-checking penalty. 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Delbonis broke Lorenzis serve to start the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 6 minutes after converting on his second match point. He jumped and punched the air after sending a winner down the line past the outstretched arms of Lorenzi.NEW YORK -- Rangers forward Chris Kreider is sitting out against the Philadelphia Flyers because of a left hand injury that also will force him to skip at least New Yorks upcoming four-game Western Conference trip. The 22-year-old Kreider was injured Friday night in New Yorks win at Columbus, but played in the next two games -- including Monday nights win over Phoenix. But the left winger, who has 17 goals and 37 points thiis season, was limited to about 10 minutes of ice time in each of the previous games.dddddddddddd Details of the injury havent been released, and it hasnt been determined whether Kreider will need surgery. The Rangers said Wednesday he wouldnt go on the trip that begins Friday at Calgary. 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