BOSTON — One of the most common occurrences for Buffalo this season, aside from losses of course, is John Scott getting escorted to the dressing room by an official. The NHL sent him a message during the preseason that indiscretions would not be tolerated, and the league has stayed true to its word.
Scott received two 10-minute misconducts Saturday during a 4-1 loss to Boston, with both getting disbelieving glances from folks in Sabreland. Scott said through the Sabres’ media relations staff he had nothing to say.
Scott has four misconducts this season, tied for eighth in the NHL, and served a seven-game suspension.
“Some guys are labeled for certain things, and they want to get that out of the game,” Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said in TD Garden. “I understand that, but sometimes he’s picked on unfairly.”
Scott picked up his first misconduct midway through the second period. Right after Boston’s Milan Lucic left the penalty box for roughing up Matt D’Agostini – an encounter that had Lucic knock down D’Agostini again from behind on his way to the box – Scott made a beeline for Lucic.
Scott grabbed Lucic, who threw a left hand at the 6-foot-8 forward. Scott dropped the gloves, but Boston captain (and 6-9 player) Zdeno Chara jumped in with a high-stick to Scott’s nose. Lucic received no penalty, Chara got four minutes for high-sticking and Scott picked up two minutes for roughing, two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct.
“I don’t know exactly what happened over there,” Chara said. “I just saw gloves off and Looch kind of standing there, so I kind of wanted to move in and jump in.”
Chara and Scott got tossed with matching 10-minute misconducts with 3:40 to play after conversing prior to a faceoff.
“I think it was more of a precaution,” Chara said. “It’s something that the referee decided to do, maybe send a message, maybe prevent any unnecessary things from happening.”
The officials ejected Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe with 12:43 to play. He stood up Boston’s Daniel Paille with a crushing hit near the blue line as Paille, who’d chipped the puck forward, attempted to get it back.
Paille stared blankly at the ceiling, wobbled when he got up and needed teammates’ help to get off the ice. The Bruins had no update on the condition of the former Buffalo player, but a source in the Sabres’ organization said Paille passed his concussion testing.
The referees tagged McCabe with an interference major and game misconduct.
“My intentions were my shoulder to the chest. I don’t think I raised my elbow at all,” McCabe said. “I got called for interference. I don’t think it was too late. He tried to go through me. I kept my hands down. It’s just kind of an unfortunate play. I think his head was down. It’s too bad.
“I knew right away that it probably didn’t look good that he dropped like that. I hope the guy’s OK. I think he’s got concussion history in the past, a couple guys are telling me. Best wishes for that, but I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all. I was trying to play hard.”
Cody Hodgson scored the Sabres’ lone goal, reaching 20 for the first time in his four-year career. He totaled 19 goals in 2011-12, scoring 16 times in 63 games with Vancouver and three times in 20 games with Buffalo after getting traded.
“It’s nice personally, but it doesn’t mean much when you don’t win,” Hodgson said. “You can’t even enjoy it.”
The goal gave the Sabres 147 on the season,. They need to score five times to avoid the all-time low of 151 set by the 1997-98 Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Sabres’ forgettable 2013-14 season gasps its last breath today when the team hosts the New York Islanders at 5 p.m. in First Niagara Center. “Fan Appreciation Night” will include a party in the plaza beginning at 2:30 p.m., a pregame tribute to retiring broadcaster Mike Robitaille, team awards, a “Jersey Off My Back” ceremony following the game, a balloon drop and select concessions at a discount.
There’s a saying that a two-goal lead is the hardest to hold. The Bruins have single-handedly proved that to be a myth. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Boston is 133-7-6 during games in which they have held a two-goal lead. The Bruins led, 2-0, after one period Saturday.
The victory earned them the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record and home ice throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.