Buffalo Sabres winger Jason Pominville suffered a concussion in the first period of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
Pominville took a hard hit from behind with 5:42 remaining in the opening frame when Niklas Hjalmarsson slammed him into the halfwall, causing his head to bounce off the glass. Pominville laid motionless on the ice for several minutes until the trainers were able to carry him off in a stretcher.
Head Coach Lindy Ruff said in addition to the concussion, Pominville also suffered a cut above his eye that required 7-8 stitches. While he did not move until the medical staff arrived, Pominville was able to give a thumbs-up as he was carted off the ice, acknowledging the crowd at HSBC Arena.
Hjalmarsson received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for his actions. While Ruff believes Hjalmarsson did not intend to injure Pominville, he also has faith the League will take a look at the play.
“That was bad. He’s not that type of player but he made a mistake obviously,” Ruff said of the Hawks defenseman. “He caught a player in a tough spot and it will be addressed.”
Ruff could not gauge how long Pominville will be out of the lineup, saying only that it will be ‘a period of time.’
Pominville hasn’t missed a game since being a healthy scratch on April 7, 2006 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He has participated in all 82 games for the last four seasons and is Buffalo’s active leader in consecutive games played at 335.
“Pommer has really been our iron man, and to see somebody laying there… you’re just thinking and praying that everything is going to be okay,” Ruff said. “It was a quiet bench for a while. I think sometimes that’s understandable. We’ve had some bad things happen in this building where you put the player first.”