The NHL has suspended Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland five games for hitting Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader in the head on Saturday night.
“Engelland tucks his shoulder and drives through Abdelkader, recklessly picking his head and making it the main point of contact,” explained Patrick Burke of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. “Abdelkader is leaning forward and his head is exposed.”
Here’s the video:
Engelland was given a match penalty for illegal check to the head and was tossed from the game. Abdelkader struggled to get up and didn’t return, and is currently out of action while undergoing concussion protocol.
As for suspension length, the Pittsburgh rearguard’s prior history was taken into account — Engelland was suspended three games for a hit on Chicago’s Marcus Kruger during the 2011-12 campaign — as was the fact Abdelkader suffered an injury.
Engelland will miss Pittsburgh’s next five (EDIT: four, having already served one) games — at New York Rangers, versus Minnesota, versus Calgary and at Ottawa.
He will also forfeit $14,529.90 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: