Zenon Konopka has been picking up too many penalties. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zenon Konopka understands why Ted Nolan will likely bench him

BUFFALO – Sabres center Zenon Konopka said he had spoken to interim coach Ted Nolan twice about his knack for picking up goaltender interference penalties.

“I made a conscious effort,” Konopka said today following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Still, Konopka, who had two calls early last week, earned a third Saturday, which led to the go-ahead power-play goal in Columbus’ 4-3 shootout win.

Three strikes and you’re likely out of the lineup. Konopka skated as a spare forward today and will likely be scratched Tuesday against Florida.

“Obviously, I put myself in a 50-50 predicament where the referee could make a call,” Konopka said. “It was a bad decision on my part to myself in that. Do I agree with the call? I don’t know. I can’t put myself in that situation. I understand that everybody’s got to be held accountable. That’s up and down the lineup.”

Nolan said Konopka’s “going to have to wait.”

“If we’re going to change things, it can’t just be for a chosen few; it has to be for everybody,” he said. “Those penalties, they could be avoided. We can’t afford to take too many bad penalties. We can’t afford to take too many turnovers. They’re going to kill us every time. We’re forced to show the young guys to try to win on a consistent basis. Those are the type of things we have to do.”

Konopka’s goaltender interference call Tuesday led to a Philadelphia goal.

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