John Scott skates as a defenseman Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres tough guy John Scott subs as defenseman; Cody McCormick returns from finger injury

BUFFALO – A day after Ted Nolan told him to leave the ice for practicing poorly, John Scott said he and the interim Sabres coach are “fine now.”

In fact, the tough guy, a regular winger, played defense Tuesday, his natural position.

“I’m surprised that that happened,” Scott said prior to the Sabres’ 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes inside the First Niagara Center. “It was kind of a weird event. I’ve never seen that happen before in my career. It was definitely something new. It’s OK. We’re fine now.”

Scott smashed his stick and stomped off the ice to the dressing room Monday.

“Obviously, I wasn’t happy,” said Scott, who subbed for Henrik Tallinder and played beside Jamie McBain. “No one likes getting sent off from practice. I was having a tough practice and just kind of maybe overreacted a little bit and got a little upset. But it happens. Move on.”

Scott said he and Nolan ironed it out “as soon as he came off the ice.”

“I went and talked to him, apologized,” he said. “We had a talk. We’re moving on.”

Nolan added: “I was perfect with John Scott (Monday). In this sport sometimes you have those moments but it’s forgotten right afterwards.”

Nolan tried to downplay everything.

“It wasn’t so much I threw him off,” he said. “He just banged his stick. I just asked him to stay in until he cooled a little bit.”

Still, Scott said he understands “exactly where he’s coming from.” He said he was “terrible” Monday.

“I couldn’t make passes or anything, and it was just one of those days where nothing was going right,” Scott said. “I understand his decision. I totally get what he’s doing. I would’ve done the same thing probably.”

He added: “It’s a new start, kind of a clean slate. Everyone kind of had a good laugh about it afterwards. The guys are giving me a hard time today.”

Hard-nosed forward Cody McCormick, the Sabres’ most prolific fighter, understands injuries accompany his role.

“For me, I think if you’re not hurt, you’re not really playing in my role,” McCormick said. “I think everybody that’s in my role is bumped or bruised, something like that.”

McCormick has been hurt most of the season, missing 32 games, including 24 straight with a finger injury before returning Tuesday, his first action since Dec. 14.

He said he was being fitted for a finger brace. Can he still fight? He has seven this season.

“I don’t think the gloves are ever glued on,” he said. “But at the same time, it might not be something I’m trying to do right away.”

Backup goalie Jhonas Enroth, who just represented Sweden at the Sochi Games with Tallinder, should start tonight against Boston, Nolan said. Tallinder said he’ll play, too. Both won silver medals Saturday.

A weary Enroth backed up Ryan Miller on Tuesday. Enroth dressed for five Olympic games behind New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, his idol.

“It was a great experience, for sure, practicing and playing with Lundqvist,” Enroth said. “So I picked up a couple things he does and stuff like that. Obviously, I wish I got one game.”

Tallinder enjoyed seeing athletes from other sports.

“It’s fun to see how they prepare for a contest that they’re in,” he said. “It’s just completely different.”

Notes: Sabres center Zenon Konopka underwent hand surgery during the Olympic break, according to TSN. Konopka, who’s been practicing, has been dealing with the injury all season. … Former Sabres winger Linus Omark, whose contract was terminated last week, has signed a one-year deal with Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League.

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