Sabres-Leafs Preseason Game Breaks out into Line Fight, Goalie Throwdown

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This is what the preseason is for—shaking off the dust and getting that right cross tuned up before the games that matter.

The Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs shook up the NHL preseason on Sunday, dropping the gloves and treating fans at the Air Canada Centre to an all-out line brawl and goalie beatdown. 

Samer Kalaf of Deadspin spotted footage of the multi-part punch carnival, which began with Toronto's Jamie Devane and Buffalo's Corey Tropp exchanging blows. A 6’5” lefty, Devane had the upper hand on the smaller Tropp from the very beginning.

After mixing it up with his right, Devane switched hands and decked the Sabres winger to the ice, and Tropp smacked his head hard upon impact. Toronto fans cheered as Devane headed to the penalty box, and Tropp eventually made it off of the ice under his own power.

Things were just warming up, however. At the next whistle, Buffalo’s John Scott kicked off a wild chain of events by attempting to start a fight with Toronto’s Phil Kessel. Kessel responded by swinging his stick at Scott’s legs and everyone was throwing down.

Even the goalies were involved.

Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier dropped the gloves and went to town, with their equipment flying everywhere. The exchange was decidedly in favor of Bernier, who managed to loosen one arm from his pads and score some solid shots on Miller.

In all, 201 minutes of penalty time were assessed for the third-period brawl and Toronto forward David Clarkson is now facing a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to join the fray.

For the game, there were 41 penalties and 239 total penalty minutes.

So while the Maple Leafs won the game 5-3, “Fight Night at ACC”—as their website is billing it—will not be without its consequences.

Image via mapleleafs.nhl.com

The Leafs will likely have to play without their $37 million veteran for a while, but at least the fans got to enjoy a nice Slap Shot-style throwdown, right?

 

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