Patrick Kaleta fought for the first time this season Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta explains how he punched himself in head

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta said he had no clue he punched himself in the head Monday during his ferocious fight with Ottawa’s Jared Cowen until someone informed him.

Kaleta’s cool with his unusual move, though.

“Hey, if that’s what it takes to win a fight, then that’s what happens,” he said today after the Sabres practiced in HarborCenter.

Naturally, friends have been sending Kaleta the video. What happened? How does a veteran who has fought regularly throughout his career send his own left fist into the side of his head?

“From the looks of it, when he switched up, I was looking to block myself so I didn’t get hit in the face,” Kaleta said. “So even though it looks like I did, I don’t really think I did.”

Kaleta left the Sabres’ 5-2 loss to the Senators later when he tumbled hard into the boards. He had trouble getting up and couldn’t put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off the ice.

It appeared the 28-year-old, who tore his right ACL last season and essentially broke his face three months ago, had suffered another major injury.

But Kaleta skated today with a swollen right eye and a large cut. His leg is fine.

Kaleta hit his eye on the boards, and it “blew up” on him.

“That was the main reason the doctor wouldn’t let me come back,” he said.

Kaleta also had the wind knocked out of him and was scared about his knee because he suffered a “bit of a hip pointer” and his leg went numb.

His first fight this season went much better than his tumble.

“Good to get my first one in,” Kaleta said. “I felt like maybe at that time we could use a little bit of a spark. It is what it is. I don’t know if technically I should be fighting or whatever.”

In other news, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said defenseman Tyler Myers, who had his first “real skate” today, will be out again Wednesday against Tampa Bay. Myers (lower body) practiced in a non-contact role.

Meanwhile, defenseman Josh Gorges and Mike Weber both had maintenance days today and will play Wednesday. Nolan said the Sabres could make a lineup change. Goalie Jhonas Enroth is expected to start.

The Sabres also assigned goalie Matt Hackett to Rochester today after he cleared waivers.

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