Penguins' Cooke says biting accusation has no teeth

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NEW YORK -- Penguins left winger Matt Cooke today denied an accusation by Philadelphia forward Arron Asham that Cooke bit him during a scrum in the third period of the Penguins' 2-1 victory at the Wachovia Center Sunday.

"No," Cooke said, when asked directly if he had bitten Asham. "There was a scrum, and I went in and grabbed (Flyers winger Scott) Hartnell and had a ahold of him. All I knew was that someone was the third man in the pile, grabbing me, scratching my face, digging and clawing the third or fourth time.

"Then, I found out (who) later, proceeded to rip my helmet off and punch me in the back of the head four or five times. And I have the welts to prove it."

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Cooke said that, as of early afternoon, he had not been contacted by the league office about the incident.

He added that he wasn't upset by some of the disparaging names Asham called him Sunday, or second-guessing his decision to decline Asham's invitation to fight.

"He made some accusations about me after the fact, but it was a 1-1 hockey game with 10 minutes left," Cooke said. "I'm sure I'm not the first one who said no to fighting him, so, whatever.

"He's allowed to say whatever he wants. It's a free country. It doesn't bother me at all."

First Published January 25, 2010 5:45 PM


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