BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis, whose face was crunched into the boards by Wayne Simmonds 15:48 into the Sabres’ 3-2 loss Sunday in Philadelphia, missed practice Monday and is day-to-day, interim coach Ron Rolston said.
“He’s a little dinged up,” Rolston said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s contest against the New York Rangers inside the First Niagara Center.
Ennis, who left the game, didn’t suffer a concussion, Rolston said. The slick center received some stitches on his forehead.
What about the hit? Simmonds nailed Ennis from behind but wasn’t penalized.
“It was a tough play,” Rolston said. “He was going, and I thought his back was turned. That’s not the way they saw it.”
Sabres defenseman Mike Weber fought Simmonds seconds later.
Several candidates could replace Ennis on the second line, Rolston said. Jochen Hecht practiced there Monday.
In other news, Rolston said defenseman Jordan Leopold will be a game-time decision. The 32-year-old has healed from what was possibly a hand injury. He skated during the warm-up Sunday and was expecting to play.
Instead, Leopold, a healthy scratch before getting hurt, sat for the 10th straight game.
“I just didn’t get the nod,” Leopold said. “It was one of those things. I was ready to play. If asked to play, I was ready.”
Was he upset?
“No, I understand,” Leopold said. “I was disappointed I didn’t have the opportunity. Today’s a new day. Tomorrow’s a new day. I’ll look to get back in the lineup.”
Andrej Sekera’s return possibly pushed Leopold out. With Leopold healthy, the Sabres sent defenseman Adam Pardy back to Rochester on Sunday.
Inquiring minds want to know why tough guy John Scott received a 10-minute misconduct Sunday.
“I don’t know,” Scott said. “I didn’t even say anything to the refs. He just came over and teed me up. I think he was worried about the game getting out of hand because I think he blew a call on (Ennis). … Then he gave Webby the instigator when Simmonds dropped his gloves first. … I was the scapegoat.”
Scott, who has one NHL goal in 166 games, scored twice during a shootout competition Monday, including the practice-ending clincher for the “PK team.”
“It happens every once in a while,” Scott said. “You get a hot stick. It’s just always fun to score.”