Maple Leafs’ Keefe, Sabres’ Granato fined $25k each for bench antics

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      The NHL fined Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe and Buffalo Sabres bench boss $25,000 apiece for their treatment of officials during Wednesday night’s games.

      Keefe drew a fine after his ejection from Toronto’s 6-2 home defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights. With two minutes left in the loss, which ended a seven-game winning streak for the Leafs, Keefe reminded referee Garrett Rank that he felt the stripes were mistaken when they called Mitch Marner for tripping earlier in the third frame.

      After a brief exchange that did not become particularly nasty by the standards of typical coach-official interactions, Rank gave the fifth-year Toronto coach his walking orders.

      After Keefe left the contest, a long empty-netter from Alex Pietrangelo quashed the Maple Leafs’ rally before Nic Roy sealed the 6-2 final in the last minute.

      Granato and the Sabres had a winning streak of their own snapped in Sunrise when the Florida Panthers dispatched them 3-2; the Buffalo coach’s outburst was decidedly less tame than his division counterpart’s.

      After Zach Benson was whistled for tripping as he tumbled to the ice behind the Florida goal, Granato erupted over the call, which he would later explain was, by his estimation, the third major officiating blunder of the game.

      His shouting drew an unsportsmanlike conduct minor that upped the Florida advantage to five-on-three, where defenseman Brandon Montour scored the eventual winning goal.

      Keefe and Granato, their pockets a bit lighter, will each have a chance to get back on track tonight at 7 pm ET. The former and the Maple Leafs host the Arizona Coyotes, while the latter’s Sabres continue their trip through Florida in Tampa Bay against the Lightning.

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