NASHVILLE -- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin was taken off the ice on a stretcher late in the second period of Saturday's game against the Nashville Predators in Bridgestone Arena after taking a hard hit from behind and crashing into the end boards.
Nashville veteran Scott Hartnell pounded Antipin and the Buffalo rookie went face-first into the glass. He dropped to the ground on his stomach and did not move. Sabres goalie Chad Johnson waved to medical teams and the stretcher was immediately called for. Antipin's head and neck were stabilized and he was wheeled away as the crowd applauded.
After Buffalo's 7-4 victory, Sabres coach Phil Housley said initial reports on Antipin were positive as he was under observation at a nearby hospital.
"He's doing good. We haven't talked to our doctors so we'll know more tomorrow," Housley said. "But as far as I know he's doing well right now."
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The play came with 5:51 left in the second period and Buffalo trailing, 4-3. Hartnell was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. He will also undoubtedly face a hearing from the NHL's Department of Player Safety.
The Sabres responded in a big way to the play by scoring three goals on the major. Sam Reinhart had two of the tallies and Kyle Okposo added a third to give Buffalo a 6-4 lead through two periods over the Predators, the team leading the NHL's overall standing.
Antipin, a signee from the KHL last July, was playing his 47th game this season. He has no goals and 10 assists.
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) April 1, 2018