Ville Leino did not take part in Saturday’s practice at First Niagara Center, and his status for Sunday’s home opener against Philadelphia is now questionable.
Head coach Lindy Ruff said the injury has been nagging at Leino for a few days, and he finally succumbed to it on Friday when he was forced to leave during practice. Leino will test the injury on Sunday morning, and Ruff said they’ll determine afterwards if he’s able to play.
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“My discussions with him are if he feels like he’s good, he’s ready to roll, then we’ll get him in. If not, then I’ll adjust the lineup.”
At today’s practice, Jochen Hecht took Leino’s spot on the line with rookie Mikhail Grigorenko and Steve Ott. The fourth line center position vacated by Hecht between John Scott and Patrick Kaleta was filled by Matt Ellis.
“The thought is Jochen can be there; we can bump Kaleta up. We’ve got a couple of options there. We can maneuver.”