TORONTO – John Scott doubled his career goal total in a milestone game.
Scott scored the second goal of his career in his 200th NHL game to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead on Friday. However, the Sabres squandered that lead and dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The six-foot-eight forward put home the rebound off a Matt Ellis shot at 7:53 of the first, much to the delight of his teammates.
“It was nice, unexpected, but when you don’t score many of them, it makes it a little more special,” said Scott. “I knew (Leafs goaltender Jonathan) Bernier was kind of coming back in, so I wanted to get it to the right side of the net.”
Sabres head coach Ted Nolan allowed Scott to play 19 shifts for 12:39 in ice time, it was the first time Scott had played more than 12 minutes in a game since Nov. 19, 2011 while he was with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“It was great to see Johnny on the board,” said Buffalo captain Steve Ott. “It’s great for a great teammate, a great team guy, a great guy who fights for us on a nightly basis to help contribute.”
Sabres defenceman Christian Ehrhoff was seen picking up the puck following the goal, but Scott said he had not yet received the souvenir post-game.
It was Scott’s first goal since Nov. 15, 2009 while he was a member of the Minnesota Wild. Scott is just the fifth player to appear in 200-plus games and have two or less goals scored.
“I was with the Wild, on defence, pinched in, got a rebound over (Cam) Ward,” Scott recalled. “When you only score two, you remember them all.”
The euphoria of Scott’s milestone evaporated at 19:16 of the second period when he took a careless high-sticking penalty while on the forecheck against Leafs blue-liner Jake Gardiner in the Toronto zone.
Phil Kessel scored just 27 seconds later, as Toronto erased the 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Scott glided the 85 feet between the visitor’s penalty box and the Sabres bench with his head down following a characteristically bad penalty.
“I’ve been taking too many penalties lately,” said Scott. “I was just in on the forecheck and he kind of lowered his head and I kind of tried to lift his stick, it happens, I just got to learn from it and move on.”
Scott, who once had a two-game goal-scoring streak as a member of the American Hockey League’s Houston Aeros, was happy to pick up the milestone at Air Canada Centre.
“I seem to do some special stuff in this building,” laughed Scott, referring to the pre-season line brawl between the Sabres and Leafs. “It’s been a long time, so to get one tonight for the guys, especially against a rival in Toronto, it was a nice goal.”