Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/9/11

New York Rangers center Artem Anisimov apologized for a post-goal celebration that triggered a skirmish in Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Anisimov said he was not trying to show up the Lightning when he pretended to use his stick as a rifle and pointed it as Tampa Bay goatender Mathieu Garon.

“I just want to apologize to Tampa. I didn’t mean something by it," Anisimov said. "It’s just my celebration, and when I score goals I want to do something unusual. I apologize to Tampa.”

Anisimov was immediately confronted by Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier and other teammates after his impromptu celebration.

Lecavalier, who said he spoke with Rangers center Brad Richards - a former teammate - after the game about the incident, was happy to hear of the apology.

"He did something wrong so, of course, we appreciate that," Lecavalier said. "He's a young guy and the fact that he's saying it is good."

Anisimov and Tampa Bay's Steve Downie each received 10-minute misconducts following the ensuing fracas.

"I never do that celebration again,” Anisimov said. “It’s a good lesson for me. ... No more shooting.”

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