Sabres aren't rushing to forgive Senators

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Andrew Peters and the Buffalo Sabres weren't in the mood for forgiving or forgetting Friday, one day after taking part in a wild brawl with the Ottawa Senators.


No one was anticipating Round 2 when the Northeast Division rivals meet at Ottawa tonight. But Peters, a forward, was still upset over Chris Neil's blindside hit that left Sabres co-captain Chris Drury bloodied and woozy, a hit that sparked a five-minute melee that led to 100 minutes in penalties.

"I'm still a little bit ticked off about the hit," said Peters, one of three players ejected because of the fight, which involved 12 players, including both goalies.

"You hate to see your teammate go down like that," he said. "But as far as case closed, once something like that happens, it creates a rivalry."

Senators coach Bryan Murray isn't taking any chances of another fight taking place. He plans to have tough-guy Brian McGrattan in the lineup today.

Murray was unhappy with Sabres coach Lindy Ruff for putting his fourth line out against the Senators' top line for the face-off after Drury was hurt. The brawl started shortly after the puck was dropped when Buffalo's Adam Mair cross-checked, then punched Jason Spezza while Peters grabbed Ottawa's Dany Heatley across the face from behind.

Asked whether his decision to dress McGrattan - a healthy scratch for the past nine games - was an attempt to send a message to the Sabres, Murray said: "It depends on how they take it."

What's clear is that Drury is out indefinitely, experiencing concussion-type symptoms. He also required 20 stitches to close a deep gash across his forehead, the result of landing headfirst after being hit by Neil early in the second period of Buffalo's 6-5 shootout victory Thursday night.

Neil wasn't penalized and, after the game, said the hit was clean and that Drury should have had his head up.

The NHL hasn't issued a statement or handed down any suspensions or fines for what happened.

"As far as case closed, once something like that happens, it creates a rivalry."

- Buffalo Sabres forward Andrew Peters, on the hit teammate Chris Drury took from Ottawa Senators winger Chris Neil, resulting in a five-minute brawl



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