Buffalo Sabres forward leaves game vs. Lightning after hit from Nikita Kucherov


  • Buffalo Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka could miss time moving forward after he was injured during Friday’s Global Series game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • Sobotka was following through on a shot in the offensive zone without the puck when Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov delivered a low-bridge hit, sending Sobotka over his back and onto the ice.
  • The 32-year-old remained down while trainers came to tend to his injuries and help him to the locker room.
  • Buffalo later announced that Sobotka would not finish the remainder of the contest.
  • Kucherov did not receive a penalty on the play; however, given he delivered what some consider to be a dangerous, low hit while Sobotka did not have possession, there is potential that the Russian winger could receive further discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
  • Rule 44 of the NHL’s official rulebook defines an illegal “low hit” as “a check that is delivered by a player who may or may not have both skates on the ice, with his sole intent to check the opponent in the area of his knees.”
  • The rulebook states that a player may not “lower his body position” to check an opponent’s knees.
  • In 15 games with the Sabres so far this season, Sobotka has registered one goal and three points.
  • He has also won 55.22 percent of his faceoffs, which ranks first on the team among skaters who have taken at least 20 faceoffs.
Sources & Credits: Sammi Silber, Sporting News
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