Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta faces a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday.
Under review is a play that occurred Thursday night in which Kaleta hit Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson along the boards inside the Buffalo zone at 3:10 of the first period. No penalty was assessed for the hit, but Kaleta dropped the gloves with Jared Boll immediately after and received a fighting major.
Kaleta did not practice with the team at First Niagara Center, but Sabres coach Ron Rolston said that was more because of an injury. After the fight, Kaleta played much of the game on Thursday with a full face shield.
Rolston said Kaleta had a “couple loose Chiclets and things like that to be cleaned up.” Kaleta would have been healthy enough to play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
A pending suspension would obviously make him unavailable.
“The League’s going to take care of that. It was a hit and they’re concerned with it so they’ll take a look at it and go from there,” Rolston said. “So he will have a hearing and see what comes of it.
Cody Hodgson also did not participate. The coaching staff gave him a maintenance day and Rolston said there’s no concern about Hodgson’s lower-body injury becoming a lingering one.
Henrik Tallinder skated in a red non-contact jersey and he will not be available Saturday.
“He’s starting to shoot a little more. We know it was going to be each day evaluating what he can do and now he’s able to do some more shooting and stuff so I’d imagine Monday he’ll be back in there [against Minnesota],” Rolston said.
The Sabres did not practice any line drills Friday, but some of the defensive pairings were flipped. Alexander Sulzer was paired with Tyler Myers for much of the session. Christian Ehrhoff worked with Mark Pysyk, Jamie McBain skated with Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov and Mike Weber were a tandem.
Sulzer may see game action soon. He was recalled on Saturday from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League after Tallinder sustained his injury and has yet to make his season debut.
“We’ll see. He’s practiced real well,” Rolston said of Sulzer. “I mean, he’s one of the best puck movers we have, passers, so [it’s] quite possible.
Forwards: 8 Cody McCormick, 9 Steve Ott, 12 Kevin Porter, 21 Drew Stafford, 22 Johan Larsson, 25 Mikhail Grigorenko, 26 Thomas Vanek, 28 Zemgus Girgensons, 32 John Scott, 63 Tyler Ennis, 65 Brian Flynn, 82 Marcus Foligno.
Defensemen: 3 Mark Pysyk, 4 Jamie McBain, 6 Mike Weber, 10 Christian Ehrhoff, 52 Alexander Sulzer, 55 Rasmus Ristolainen, 57 Tyler Myers, 61 Nikita Zadorov
Goaltenders: 1 Jhonas Enroth, 30 Ryan Miller
Injured: 20 Henrik Tallinder
Did Not Practice: 19 Cody Hodgson, 23 Ville Leino, 33 Joel Armia, 78 Corey Tropp