And on the day after the big hit, Jeff Skinner felt ... just fine.
No headaches, no nausea. The Canes' forward, flattened Tuesday night by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, was checked out by team trainer Pete Friesen and was on the ice at noon for the team practice at Raleigh Center Ice.
"I feel pretty good today," he said after the workout.
If Skinner was wondering when the first huge hit would come following his return from a concussion, he no longer has to worry about it. Orpik's hit was hard, it was clean, and Skinner suffered no ill effects from it.
"If it's any other game I wouldn't think too much about it," Skinner said today. "But after everything that's gone on ...
"But I got up and I was fine. So that was a good thing."
After the collision with 12:57 left in regulation, Skinner left the game for about 15 minutes while being evaluated by a doctor. He then returned to play in the third period and overtime and finished with 18:09 in ice time. Skinner assisted on Jamie McBain's first-period goal.
Skinner now has played two games since missing 16 games recovering from the concussions and post-concussion symptoms.
"It's always tough to think back to how you felt before," Skinner said. "When you're sick you kind of think, 'How do I feel when I'm normal?' ... As they say, you don't realize how good it is until something's gone.
"I think I'm 100 percent. I think besides being a little bit rusty and game-legs wise, I feel pretty normal."
At today's practice, defenseman Jaroslav Spacek was back after missing the last two games. Spacek took a puck in the face last week and had surgery.
Forwards Chad LaRose and Jerome Samson did not practice with the team but did get in some skating afterward. Both have upper-body injuries.
Forward Zac Dalpe, recalled today from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), was at practice and was on Skinner's line with Jussi Jokinen. Alexei Ponikarovsky, who had been on Skinner's line the past two games, was moved to Tim Brent's line with Anthony Stewart.