Byfuglien bodies Kadri: ‘I thought my sternum collapsed’

Alex Burmistrov scored in the final minutes of the third to break a 2-2 tie and help propel the Jets to a 4-2 win against the Maple Leafs.

Despite his skill-player status, Nazem Kadri believes throwing a few hits helps his team generate scoring opportunities and psychologically gets him more into the game.

But one body-check he threw Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre nearly took him out of the game.

Even though the Toronto Maple Leafs centre was the giver, he felt like the receiver after he tried to nail the six-foot-five, 260 pounds of nasty that is Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien.

“On that hit I threw on Byfuglien, I thought my sternum collapsed. I wasn’t really quite sure what was going on,” a smiling Kadri told reporters after the game. “That’s what days off are for.”

Big Buff’s Jets also got the best of the score sheet, winning 4-2.

“I’m not the biggest guy so I’m not gonna flatten a lot of people,” Kadri said, “but I’m definitely gonna work.”

Or, in this case, get worked. Watch the play:

After the collision, Byfuglien maintained possession of the puck, while a hunched-over Kadri skated to the Leafs bench.

“They gotta be one of the biggest teams in the league,” Kadri said. “They got some big boys over there, some heavy boys.”

Uh, yeah.

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