With 4:06 left in the second period, Nashville's Jordin Tootoo crashed into Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, knocking him out of the net and onto the ice. The collision prompted a pileup of players, and Miller threw several punches at Tootoo after they hit the ice.
Tootoo was given a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.
But, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff didn't think it was enough in terms of punishment.
"What happened in the game was a joke," a livid Ruff said. "All it does is prove the fact when I said it was open season. It appears it is open season.
"You have a guy coming off a concussion and you've got Jordin Tootoo running over your goaltender. We used to get a two-minute power play. We got a one-minute power play. That's a joke. I want to see what the league wants to do with this one."
Miller stressed that he is determined to stand up for himself.
"He [Tootoo] is going to come hard to the net every time," Miller said. "I got in the mix right after that. I can't sit back and let other guys take advantage of me.
"I got right in the pileup and tried to do what I could do, which wasn't a whole lot. But I showed that I am not going to take it."
Tootoo countered that he did his best to avoid any contact with Miller.
"I was driving to the net and I got a little shove from behind," Tootoo said. "The last thing I wanted to do was run the goalie over and put my team down. Clearly, I tried to jump out of the way. There was no intent to charge at him."
Tootoo, who expects he will have to face the NHL's disciplinary committee, thought Miller should have been penalized as part of the pileup after the collision.
"There were four guys throwing jabs at me for a good 30 seconds," Tootoo said. "I was defenseless. What am I supposed to do? Take them all on? That's unfortunate that Miller didn't get anything called towards him, but that's all I can say."
Nashville coach Barry Trotz stood by Tootoo's explanation but said he could also understand why Ruff would be upset.
"When you get your star player bumped into, especially in his first game back, you are going to be ultra-sensitive," Trotz said. "I would probably be the same way."