By John Vogl
TORONTO -- Drew Stafford had a fun time watching the Sabres battle back to beat Phoenix despite being down to 15 skaters Monday. It was not fun being part of the reason they were short-handed.
Stafford was ejected during the second period of the 2-1 overtime victory. He earned a five-minute elbowing major and game misconduct for a hit on the Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Sabres were already playing two men short of the maximum because of illness.
"That was tough," Stafford said today in Air Canada Centre. "I felt more bad just because of a short bench. It was tough enough as it is with having the three lines and we were playing a certain kind of game. A call like that happens, it was tough.
"Fortunately, the win trumps it all. The boys battling back, that was a gutsy win. It was pretty fun to watch."
Stafford will be in the lineup against the Maple Leafs tonight because he did not receive supplemental discipline from the NHL.
"I didn’t really expect to hear anything, but you never know," Stafford said. "I was getting ready for a counterhit, and the guy kind of bailed on me. He didn’t really engage at all, kind of gave me the long stick. My force kind of came back into him, and the follow-through got him. My arm swung around, but I got him with my shoulder.
"I think five minutes and a game’s enough punishment."