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Ference Calls Gesture An 'Unintentional Bird'

BOSTON (CBS) - Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is sticking by his story, that his raised middle finger to the Montreal crowd after scoring a goal in Thursday night was an accident.

Friday morning, before being fined $2,500, he told the NHL's VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy it was an "unintentional bird."

"I was pumping my first. I'm not giving anyone the bird or anything like that," Ference said on Friday. "It's like I told him, it was a 'unintentional bird' that I obviously apologized for. It wasn't meant to insult anybody, especially a whole row of cameras in the Bell Centre."

"He said the same thing, it looks awful," said Ference. "With the series the whole year, you know how it is between the Hab's and the Bruins, a fine is acceptable in their books."

Andrew Ference
Boston Bruins' Andrew Ference celebrates with teammate Patrice Bergeron, after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during second period of Game 4 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series in Montreal, Thursday, April 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

Ference's teammates were behind him, and also think the gesture was more of a "uniform malfunction" than flipping off an entire fan base.

"I don't think it was intentional," forward Shawn Thornton said. "It looked bad but I don't think it was intentional."

But when it comes to paying the fine, Ference may be on his own.

"He can afford it, he makes two and a half sheets I think," joked Thornton. "We'll talk as a group, not everybody was here today. I'll see if the boys want to chip in."

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