Niskanen on head hit: Skinner spun into my elbow

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Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was forced to leave Sunday’s preseason game against Washington after Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen appeared to elbow him in the head. After the contest, Niskanen rose to his own defense.

“He spun around right into my elbow,” Niskanen told CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley. “I could feel his face hit me in the elbow.

“He has a history of head stuff, so you don’t want to see that. … He’s good for hockey. I hope he’s okay.”

If you missed the play, you can see it below:

As Niskanen noted, Skinner has previously missed time due to concussion problems. If he starts the 2014-15 campaign on the sidelines, then that will be particularly devastating for the Hurricanes given that they’ve already lost Jordan Staal due to a fractured fibula.

Skinner told coach Bill Peters after the game that he feels fine, but the 22-year-old forward will still need to be examined on Monday, per the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.