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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Donnybrook dominates Leafs/Sabres matchup

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TORONTO -- Buffalo Sabres tough guy John Scott was looking for a fight. The Toronto Maple Leafs weren't happy when he picked Phil Kessel as his opponent.

Kessel, who had already scored twice in the Leafs' 5-3 pre-season win on Sunday, stands six feet compared to Scott, who's eight inches taller.

The two aren't even close to being in the same weight class and Kessel wasn't in any mood to get involved. Kessel backtracked and swung his stick a few times at Scott as several teammates rushed in.

"It was pretty stupid, right? He said he was going to jump me," Kessel said.

"What are you going to do? He's a big boy so if he's coming after me, what are you going to do?"

The incident came with 10 minutes left in the game and set off a line brawl and a goalie fight between Leafs' goalie Jonathan Bernier and Ryan Miller of the Sabres.

It came right after a fight between Jamie Devane of the Leafs and Corey Tropp of the Sabres.

"That guy's a big guy, six foot five," said Sabres head coach Ron Rolston. "And (Tropp's) a smaller guy but certainly a battler. So guys weren't happy about it."

Tropp was left bloodied on the ice after the fight and had to leave the game.

"(Tropp) was the guy who instigated the fight," said Leafs coach Randy Carlyle when asked about the incident that allegedly left the Sabres upset and sparked Scott to go after Kessel.

"Obviously maybe they felt that was the problem was that there was a bigger man fighting a smaller guy."

Kessel was issued a match penalty for swinging his stick, which means an automatic suspension pending a ruling from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 23, 2013 C3

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