Buffalo Sabres defenceman Numminen out indefinitely after face surgery

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Sabres defenceman Teppo Numminen is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery Sunday to repair a fractured bone in his face.

Numminen was struck in the face Saturday by a second-period shot from Carolina defenceman Tim Gleason. The shot appeared to be deflected. Numminen was able to skate off under his own power.

He played eight more shifts, but didn’t return for the third period.

“He feels good, but it’s just kind of a freak accident,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

The 40-year-old Numminen had played in all 45 games this season after missing all but one last year following heart surgery. He scored his second goal of the season Saturday against the Hurricanes before getting hurt.

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He’s the second Buffalo defenceman to be hurt in the last week. Andrej Sekera sustained an ankle injury Wednesday against Chicago and will be out at least two weeks.

The Sabres were already carrying eight defencemen on their active roster, so they won’t need to call anyone up from AHL Portland. Nathan Paetsch will take Numminen’s spot in the lineup.

The Sabres (23-17-5) begin a six-game road trip Monday night at Florida.