BOSTON -- Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta was being his usual self in the first period of the Bruins’ 3-1 win at Buffalo on Sunday, skating around and doing his best to get under the collective skin of the Bruins. But Bruins center Gregory Campbell felt the Sabres pest had gone too far when, after taking some liberties with Campbell’s teammates in a scrum, Kaleta took a cross-ice run at Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and finished it off with a clean but resonating hit.
Campbell immediately went after Kaleta, dropped the gloves and fought him. Because he dropped the gloves first and picked the fight, Campbell also was assessed a 10-minute misconduct and two-minute minor for instigating to go along with the five-minute major for fighting.
On Monday, Campbell didn’t regret sticking up for a teammate but was hard on himself for the way he did it. While the Bruins were able to kill off the ensuing Sabres power play, Campbell regretted putting them in a shorthanded situation.
“I guess I made a mistake there by taking the initiative and drawing the instigator,” Campbell said. “I guess I could’ve been smarter knowing the player that it was against. That’s what he does; drawing people into bad penalties and we all know that. So my mistake was putting our team in that position.
“My intentions were good, but sometimes your emotions get the best of you and I’m not a guy that likes to put our team in those types of positions down a man against a power play like Buffalo’s. I appreciate how well the penalty kill did. I’ll learn from it, but I think that’s an important part of our team is the team toughness that we have. But you have to respect the rules and I’ll do my best to do that going forward.”
Despite Campbell's sentiments, coach Claude Julien and the rest of the Bruins had no issue with Campbell.
“You never condemn a guy for doing what he thinks is right,” Julien said. “What people probably didn’t see is it just didn’t start from the hit. There was a scrum in front of our net and he [Kaleta] took liberties with a couple of our players and then when [Campbell] saw him go from one side of the ice to the other -- although it was a clean hit -- he thought [Kaleta] was going to take liberties and he wanted to make sure that wasn’t going to last, so he stepped up and decided to take car of it his own way. When the intention’s good, most of the time your penalty kill is going to do a good job and kill it.”
Bruins winger Shawn Thornton had no issues with his linemate’s decision to fight Kaleta either.
“We've got a number of guys that are not afraid to do that when called upon,” Thornton said. “But I can’t say enough about my centerman and how good he is. I’ve said it all along that he could probably be on the third line of a lot of other teams but instead he’s stuck with us. He’s been great for us the whole time he’s been here.”