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Rangers coach Tortorella involved in incident with fan

The Canadian Press

4/24/2009 11:21:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- Rangers coach John Tortorella threw a plastic drinking bottle over the glass and into the stands during a confrontation with a fan in the third period of New York's 4-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

Tortorella and a man standing near New York's bench yelled at each other with about 13 1/2 minutes left in the game. After Tortorella heaved the bottle, he grabbed a hockey stick and held it high, waving it in the fan's direction.

A TV replay of the episode did not show whether anything was thrown at Tortorella, but he did use a towel to wipe off his suit.

During his post-game news conference, the coach was asked what happened between him and the spectator.

"Ask me a question about the game. That has nothing to do with today," Tortorella replied.

Asked whether he threw a bottle, Tortorella said: "Ask me a question about the game, please."

At that point, a Rangers employee said the news conference would end if there was another question on that topic.

Rangers players wouldn't discuss their fiery coach's faceoff with the fan in detail.

"When I looked over, Torts was turned and facing the crowd," Marc Staal said. "He might have gotten squirted or something. I'm not really sure."