Monday, April 02, 2012

Laviolette, Granato lighter in wallet after Sunday scrap

by Bob Herpen

Phanatic Hockey Editor

The National Hockey League on Monday fined Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette $10,000 and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato $2,500 for their parts in a late-game incident on Sunday.

It all occurred with 1:03 remaining in an eventual 6-4 Flyers victory at CONSOL Energy Center, when all players on the ice at the time engaged in a line brawl. The fracas was precipitated after Flyers forward Brayden Schenn cross-checked Sidney Crosby in the back and then Pens forward Joe Vitale leveled Danny Briere with a clean, but hard check at center ice.

Laviolette had to be restrained by assistant Craig Berube as he stood on the edge of the bench, facing Pens head coach Dan Bylsma and accosting him.

Granato, on the opposite bench, did most of the talking to Laviolette in return.

"Those guys hadn't been out there in 12 minutes," Laviolette said following the game about the line of Asham/Adams and Vitale which kicked off the scrum. "It's a gutless move by their coach. It's gutless."

And of course, Bylsma had an equal and opposite reaction:

It's clearly a cheap shot. It's clearly a guy targeting a player that was well after the whistle."

Both clubs have three games remaining and are battling for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They will meet again, this Saturday afternoon, at CONSOL, which will be the regular-season finale for both squads.

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