Kessel backed away from Scott while twice swinging his stick at the Sabres enforcer before some of his teammates jumped in.
"I don't know. It was pretty stupid, right?" Kessel said. "He (Scott) said he was gonna jump me. I just backed up. What are you gonna do, you know? He's a big boy so if he's coming after me, what am I gonna do, right?"
That precipitated a line brawl with Maple Leafs right wing David Clarkson jumping off the bench to join the fray, and a goalie fight between Ryan Miller of the Sabres and Jonathan Bernier of the Maple Leafs. Clarkson received a 10-minute penalty for leaving the bench.
"I just saw everyone fighting and I wanted to defend my teammate, I guess," Bernier said.
By the end of the game, 239 minutes in penalties were handed out. The benches on both sides were looking bare after numerous fighting majors and 10-minute misconducts were assessed.
Clarkson was unavailable to the media after the game. The teams don't meet in the regular season until Nov. 15 in Buffalo.
"I think Clarkson will get 10 games for that," Miller said. "Are we going to see Clarkson our first game against these guys? I don't have my schedule. So probably not the brightest move by him. But I guess they figured they needed two guys to take down John (Scott)."
Leivo's goal proved to be the winner at 16:52 of the third when he banged in a cross-ice pass from James van Riemsdyk.
Tomas Tatar scored twice for the Red Wings and Gustav Nyquist had three assists, but the Blackhawks doubled their lead with two goals in 56 seconds early in the third period, highlighted by Froese's second tally at 3:25.
"I thought Tatar has been really good and I thought Gus got better here as it's gone on, which is important," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Their job is to put as much pressure on the coach and general manager as they possibly can to be here. That's all you can ask a kid to do, and they're doing that.''
Nashville Predators 2, New York Islanders 0: Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton combined for a 25-save shutout and Gabriel Bourque and Austin Watson scored to help Nashville beat the Islanders at Bridgestone Arena.
The Islanders were shut out for a second straight night. They were blanked in a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Anders Nilsson stopped 23 of 25 shots for New York.
"The one thing for me is that we've gone six periods of hockey without a goal," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "So that tells us about some of the things we need to work on as the week moves forward."
Bourque broke a scoreless tie 3:07 into the second period, when he beat Nilsson with a wrist shot. Watson then made it 2-0 with a wrist shot of his own at 8:22.
"I think I've tried to be consistently good every day," said Watson, Nashville's first-round pick (No. 18) in 2010. "I'm just coming out here, working hard and just trying to do the good things in my game that are going to hopefully help me keep around."
Rinne played the first 40 minutes for Nashville and made 13 saves. Hutton stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third period.
Kyle Palmieri had the lone goal for the Ducks, which came 57 seconds into the third period. Palmiere, who had 21 points in 42 games last season, beat Varlamov on a breakaway to make it 1-1.
Palmieri's goal was set up by Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who played his first game since reconstructive surgery on his right knee.
"It was good to take a regular shift, give hits and take hits," Beauchemin said. "It's been a long summer, and I haven't had a chance to play any scrimmages during training camp. That was my first real game-type situation. It was good to play out there tonight."
"We played really well in the first, but we let the game get away from us afterwards," Hiller said. "I thought I had a couple good saves, but it's always a disappointment if you lose."
Anaheim right wing Jakob Silfverberg left in the third period with an apparent lower-body injury.
"He got banged up. Right now, it's day-to-day," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Like all our injuries, we seem to have an awful lot of banged up guys that are not long term. They're just banged up. Hopefully, within the next two to three days, they'll all be skating, and within a week they'll be right in game shape and ready to go."
Material from wire services was used in this report.