Sabres' Lehner OK after being checked out for a head hit

February 28, 2017
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Robin Lehner got hit a lot on Saturday in Denver and he wound up with a headache. Lehner missed the game on Sunday in Arizona going through the NHL concussion protocol, but he did take the ice for about half of today’s morning skate. The netminder said, “Practice felt good, it’s no problem at all.”
 
The worst hit Lehner took was from Tyson Barrie who got a goaltender interference penalty. Lehner said, “They ran into me a couple of times, I think the Barrie hit in the second period, he came in pretty hard and hit my head from the side and I started to get a little headache.”
 
“I went through the protocol and we just wanted to make sure there was no problems. I got through the league testing and was cleared, so I’m just getting back at it now.”
 
Lehner has had one concussion in his career, but it was a major one in Ottawa. With that in mind, the team is always going to be careful, “No matter who it was, it was a pretty significant hit from Barrie, blindsided, so it doesn’t matter who on our team would’ve gotten it, they probably would’ve had to go through testing.”
 
“It was just to be on the safe side of things, take a day and go through the testing and do the right thing.”
 
Barrie got a two minute minor penalty, but Lehner thought the hit deemed a stiffer penalty, “They ran into me quite a bit, but I think the Barrie hit was something that I think should’ve been more than two minutes to be honest because he comes in and his only contact was into my head and I’m in my crease, so it’s a little bit of a dangerous play.”
 
Dan Bylsma wouldn’t confirm who his goaltender will be tonight against Nashville. He said the whole lineup is game-time. Ullmark was the first goalie off the ice and certainly talked like he is starting, “It’s going to be great to be back in Buff, we just won our last game against Utica here with Rochester, so I just hope that we can turn this around.”
 
When asked if he’s starting Ullmark said, “I would guess so, yes.”
 
Last season Ullmark played 20 games in Buffalo going 8-10-2 with a 2.60 goals against and .913 save percentage. This season he’s been here as a backup, but hasn’t seen any game action. Ullmark said, “Last year was something that I couldn’t see coming coming into the season. I was thinking about biding my time down in Rochester the whole year, but you know what happened and then I got the shot, but this is what my first year was supposed to be like.”  
 
Being an AHL All-Star, Ullmark is a different goalie than he was in game 82 of last season in Brooklyn. He said, “I’m definitely a different goalie, but the same guy. I’m a lot more mature, I’ve got more confidence behind my game.”
 
The Sabres have lost three straight games which has pretty much taken them out of playoff contention. On the other hand, Nashville is in solid playoff contention holding down third place in the Central Division with 71 points. The Preds are four points in front of St. Louis and nine ahead of Winnipeg.
 
Nashville has won three straight games and four out of five. The Predators have scored either four or five goals in seven out of eight games.
 
Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson have been red hot for the Preds. Forsberg has eight goals in four games including two hat tricks.
 
Forsberg started the season with one goal in 18 games and two goals in 27. Since then, he’s had 22 goals in 35 games.
 
Arvidsson has goals in three straight games and has 11 goals in 17 games.
 
Roman Josi has been hot from the blue line picking up points in five straight games. During that stretch he has eight points. Josi has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 10 games.
 
Fellow defenseman P.K. Subban has also been heating up with 12 points in his last nine games.
 
James Neal has 18 goals this season, but he’s been in a long slump with one goal in 14 games.
 
Both Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros have been playing in goal lately. Saros gave up five goals and made 32 saves in an overtime loss to the Sabres in Nashville.
 
Join the Bulldog for the pregame at 6:00 live from 716 when they’ll be joined by Dan Bylsma, Brian Gionta, Robin Lehner and Linus Ullmark.