Buffalo Sabres: Jason Pominville Out at Least a Week with Concussion


With 5:46 to go in the first period with the Buffalo Sabres leading the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1, Sabres’ defenseman Andrej Sekera chipped the puck up the boards to Jason Pominville for the winger to clear the zone. Before the puck reached Pominville, Blackhawks’ defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson plastered him against the glass. Pominville’s head snapped against the glass and he crumpled to the ice.

Tim Connolly immediately jumped on Hjalmarsson in retaliation for the hit on his linemate. Pominville was taken off the ice with a stretcher. He did not go to the hospital, but he was diagnosed with a concussion, and he had a cut on his forehead. Hjalmarsson was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct. However, the Sabres did not score on the ensuing five-minute power play. The Sabres seemed to never recover from the shock, as they eventually lost the game 4-3.

In an interview on WGR 550 in Buffalo, Sabres’ head coach Lindy Ruff said that Pominville will miss at least a week, as the protocol on concussions states that a player must be symptom-free for at least seven days before returning to the ice.

Pominville will miss a game for the first time in 336 straight games, which was the fifth-longest active streak in the NHL. He has played all 82 games of the regular season for four straight seasons. Pominville is also one of the leaders in the locker room, and Connolly after the game was visibly shaken when giving a post-game interview. Connolly and Pominville have been teammates for five years, and have often played on the same line.

With Pominville out of the lineup for at least a week, Ruff will most likely insert Nathan Gerbe into the lineup, and will immediately be asked to compensate for Pominville’s lost offensive production. Gerbe definitely has the ability to score goals, but he will not be utilized on the penalty kill due to his suspect defensive game.

The Sabres need some spark to jump-start their lackluster play so far this season. They have lost both of their games at home and have surrendered a total of 10 goals in those two games. The Sabres next play Wednesday at home against the New Jersey Devils, who are still dealing with salary cap issues because of the Ilya Kovalchuk deal. The Sabres round out the week at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night, and then face the Chicago Blackhawks on the road on Saturday.

Read more Buffalo Sabres news on BleacherReport.com

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