Goalies Ryan Miller, Jonathan Bernier Brawl as Buffalo Sabres Lose 5-3 to Toronto Maple Leafs September 22nd, 2013 at 11:45 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101
Sabres managed to find a way to make a preseason hockey
game relevant and exciting Sunday night.
The brawl started after a fight between Jamie Devane and Corey Tropp. Devane drove Tropp's head to the ice with an elbow as the fight wrapped up.
Before the next faceoff, John Scott challenged Phil Kessel to a fight. Kessel accepted but quickly skated away, slashing at Scott's legs multiple times as he did so. All five skaters for both sides paired up, and David Clarkson let the Leafs bench to pounce on Scott after he was already on all fours on the ice.
Kessel bloodied Buffalo's Brian Flynn before the skaters subsided. Kessel also speared Flynn one more time before getting ejected. But then Toronto's Jonathan Bernier skated down to Buffalo's end to challenge Ryan Miller. The goalies fought for about two minutes, with Bernier landing multiple punches when Miller's arm got stuck in his jersey. "You back off from that one, what kind of hockey player are you?" Miller said after the game. "So I figured I might as well give it a shot."
For as good as Miller looked in standing up for his team, he look just as pedestrian between the pipes. He stopped only 27 of 31 shots in 2 1/2 periods before the fight led to his ejection.
Kessel opened the scoring 95 seconds into the game, redirecting a shot into the net. Toronto held a 2-0 lead before Nikita Zadorov wristed a shot past Bernier in the period's final 27 seconds. Kessel and Josh Leivo made the game 4-1 entering the third period. Jamie McBain and Tropp drew Buffalo to within one, but Jake Gardiner beat Matt Hackett in the final five minutes to close the scoring.
The game ended with 224 penalty minutes – 102 for Buffalo, 122 for Toronto. McBain also had an assist on the night.
Buffalo fell to 3-1-1 on the preseason and lost back-to-back games to the Leafs. The Sabres host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
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