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Patrik Laine of Jets has concussion

Rookie forward injured by hit from Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe Saturday, no timetable for return

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Patrik Laine has a concussion and there is no timetable for his return, coach Paul Maurice said on Sunday.

Laine, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, missed practice Sunday when the Jets were preparing for their home game against the Calgary Flames on Monday (8 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, TSN3, SNW, NHL.TV).

Tweet from @TimNHL: #NHLJets forward Patrik Laine out with concussion; no timetable for his return, says coach Paul Maurice.

He was hit in the neutral zone by Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe with 14:12 remaining in the third period of a 4-3 loss on Saturday. Laine left the game and did not return.

"Patty's got a concussion," Maurice said. "He tested out [Saturday] night; he'll see doctors again today, so he will start the stages of recovery with that and will until the symptoms subside, and then he'll start increasing workload and getting back on the ice.

"There can't be (a timeline) on any of these. We've had players this season that have gone through it. There's no timeline on it."

Video: WPG@BUF: Laine takes big check, leaves game

Laine's 37 points (21 goals, 16 assists) lead NHL rookies and are tied with linemate Mark Scheifele for the Jets lead.

Maurice said forward Drew Stafford will move into Laine's spot on the top line with Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers.

Maurice he had no complaint with McCabe's hit on Laine.

"It's an awfully hard hit," he said. "Those happen in the games. It wasn't dirty.

"I love Patty Laine. I'm going to protect my players all day long. I don't have a problem with the hit. When two big men get together at that pace, there's going to be some collateral damage. The hits they're talking about getting out of the game are blind-side hits, elbows to the head, people coming off their feet to drive into it. It's a very unfortunate result, and we're hoping to get Patty back healthy here, but there's no issues with it."

Maurice also defended Scheifele, whose pass to Laine came right before the hit.

"That's a flat pass to an open guy," Maurice said. "It's not in his feet, it's not from behind. Ninety-nine times out of 100, the D are pulling out on that because of the speed we've got going through. And this is happening fast, right?

Read: Top 100 forwards after Laine's injury

"You don't have time and you need to check early what your lanes are coming up the ice. There's nothing wrong with that pass. It's a hard hit and when you get a collision like that, there aren't the markers of a dirty hit. The elbows aren't up, they're not off their feet. They collided and both heads hit and we had a bad result. I don't know what their result was."

Ehlers said Laine's absence is disappointing considering the chemistry that was developing with their line.

"It's obviously not what you want to see," said Ehlers, who has 14 goals and 22 assists. "You don't want to see one of your teammates go down, and not like that. So it's going to be tough. We were building some good chemistry, me, him and [Scheifele]. But that's the way it is. He's going to get better, hopefully very soon, and we'll look forward to that.

"Hockey is a fast sport. You see an open guy, you play him. Hits like that happen. It's a fast-played game. Stuff like that happens."

Laine watched the practice Sunday "with a big smile on his face," Maurice said.

"He's not feeling 100 percent," Maurice said. "He's not feeling fresh, but he's walking around looking good. He's got Nik Ehlers (his roommate) as a chauffeur for a little while, so he's in good shape."

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