BUFFALO, N.Y. - Off to the worst start in franchise history, the Sabres (1-9-1) head to Florida to face the Panthers and Lightning this weekend. The team will be without the services of John Scott and Patrick Kaleta.
Scott has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing with the NHL. Scott received a match penalty for a hit to the head of the Bruins Loui Eriksson, who is now out indefinitely with a concussion. Scott texted Eriksson an apology and said he wasn't aiming for his head.
"I don't think I'm a dirty player," Scott said. "I try to play within the code and within the rules and this is my first suspension. I don't try to be a dirty player, I feel really upset, I was sick to my stomach last night knowing what happened. Watching the video, I regret the whole situation. I don't want to be a dirty player."
While the incident was unfortunate, Scott said some of the criticism it received isn't completely warranted.
"To say that he sends me out there to hurt somebody is just asinine, just completely false, not what happens at all," Scott added. "I'm a hockey player, I go out there and I play my game. I'm physical, I hit, that's my role. I'm not going to score a million goals. I get frustrated when people say I'm a goon, I'm this and that. I have a role, I do it. I go out there and I'm physical. It's unfortunate what happened last night, but to say that Ron (Rolston) sent me out there to do anything with any malcontent or anything is just completely false."
Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Patrick Kaleta's 10-game suspension following his appeal. Kaleta still has four games left to serve.
Ville Leino will make the trip to Florida while Cody McCormick is ready to return. The AP reports Kevin Porter was placed on waivers to make room.
Despite Wednesday's defeat, young Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov had a moment to remember, scoring the first goal of his career in the second period. Transitioning from juniors, the 18-year-old has held his own through two NHL games.
"It's my dream to play here and score a goal in the NHL, it's the dream of my life," Zadorov said. "When I was a kid I wanted it, now I scored and I'm really happy now."