BUFFALO -- Jarkko Ruutu might be all bark, but says he's no biter.
Sabres tough guy Andrew Peters is accusing the Senators pest of biting him on the thumb during an altercation at the Senators bench in the first period of last night's game.
Grabbing his fingers while receiving medical attention, Peters screamed at the officials that "(Ruutu bleeping) bit me!"
That earned Peters an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for challenging officials Mike Hasenfratz and Frederick L'Ecuyer, while spectators booed as replays were shown. Ruutu was not penalized on the play.
Peters had more to say about the "stupid" incident -- and its alleged perpetrator -- after the game.
"It's a pretty stupid thing to do regardless of who you are ... it's just not part of the game," said Peters, adding his right thumb is cut up.
"The last time I saw that was in boxing with Tyson-Holyfield. Honestly, I didn't know that stuff went on.
"I've never had anyone bite me before."
He still hasn't, according to Ruutu, who flatly denies the biting allegations.
"I didn't bite him," said Ruutu. "He had his finger in my mouth, but I didn't bite him."
So it's no surprise Ruutu also doesn't expect to be suspended a second time this season.
"Nothing is going to happen," he said.
Craig Hartsburg is defending Ruutu, and doesn't "know what the big deal is."
"I don't see anything that happened. (Peters) just rubs his hand in Ruutu's face about three times," said Hartsburg, who also doesn't foresee any suspension.
A league source, however, confirmed that NHL VP and disciplinarian Colin Campbell will look into the incident.
Earlier this season, Ruutu was suspended three games for elbowing Montreal's Maxim Lapierre to the head in November.
Ruutu could be banned even longer this time for a second offence on an act that's considered dangerous.
However, in 2003, then-Thrasher Marc Savard was suspended only one game for biting the Leafs' Darcy Tucker.
Off the glass
So, where will Pat Quinn surface after coaching the juniors to gold? There's plenty of talk Quinn could replace Penguins coach Michel Therrien, who's under the gun after getting shut out 4-0 by the Rangers Monday. There's also talk Penguins players aren't exactly enamoured with their coach, who shifted all the lines in that loss. There is a connection between Penguins GM Ray Shero and the 65-year-old Quinn. Shero's father, Fred, gave Quinn his first NHL job behind a bench with the Flyers ... Why the world junior tournament is in Canada two straight years: The talk is Senators owner Eugene Melnyk guaranteed Hockey Canada around $12 million to bring the hugely successful event to Ottawa. While nobody is sure what Saskatoon has guaranteed the governing body next year, the word in Buffalo is the Sabres have promised USA Hockey only $4 million for the 2011 tourney ... Former Senators G Patrick Lalime looked pretty good sitting at the end of the bench in a yellow toque last night.
Around the boards
Senators RW Shean Donovan was all smiles after winning his bet with captain Daniel Alfredsson on the Canada-Sweden junior final. The two bet that the loser has to shovel the winner's outdoor rink after the next big snowfall. Donovan was worried because his rink isn't "nearly as big" as Alfredsson's. "There's going to be a snowblower and I've got a special shovel with a small blade just for him," said Donovan. "I knew if I had to do his, it was going to take a long time. We agreed that we can't personally hire anybody, so I'm pretty excited." Donovan said he will take pictures and somebody suggested he should post the video on YouTube. Alfredsson admitted he's "not hoping for a big snowfall, that's for sure, but I'll live up to my end of the bargain. We said shovel, so I don't now if a snowblower is part of the equation." ... After hearing about Sabres G Ryan Miller's little back-and-forth with a Buffalo News columnist Monday in the dressing room, Senators G Martin Gerber told your humble sportswriter: "See how good you guys have it in Ottawa? You write something bad about me every day and I never say a word." I didn't tell Gerber he just did, but he was wearing a huge smile.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is being lauded for publicly criticizing Cs Derek Roy and Jochen Hecht last week. "I had a good stretch of games in a row and then I had a couple of bad games," said Roy, an Ottawa native. "I got called out. It motivates you as a player and as a person to go out the next day and help your teammates and play for your team. I want to play hard." ... Somebody might want to get a little drywall and a coat of paint for the front of the visitors' dressing room at HSBC Arena. There's a huge crack where Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist apparently smashed his stick in a rage after coming off the ice following an OT loss to the Sabres a couple of years ago ... An NHL scout's assessment of Senators top pick Erik Karlsson, who starred for Sweden at the world juniors: "He's an excellent talent and he had a great tourney. But he looks to me like a guy who is going to need some coaching. There are some things you can try at the junior level, like the behind-the-back passes, that you can't do at this level. I do believe he's going to be a player once he get some NHL coaching."
Last night was the first time the Senators made a trip to Buffalo since Sabres C Adam Mair marched down the hallway Oct. 27 to try to get at Senators RW Chris Neil. Mair was stopped by Ruutu and PR guy Phil Legault and handed a $1,000 fine by the NHL. "He may not be looking forward to seeing me," cracked Neil before the game.