Montreal Canadians forward Max Pacioretty left Saturday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes after colliding into a net post during the first period.
Pacioretty was driving hard to the net when Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore checked him into the post. The big winger remained on the ice for several moments before being he headed to the dressing room, appearing to favor his left forearm.
The Canadiens announced in the second period that Pacioretty suffered a lower-body injury and would not return.
The 25-year-old is slated to represent Team USA in the Winter Games, and although the severity of his injury is unknown at this point, his spot on the Olympic hockey team could be in jeopardy.
The U.S. has until Feb. 12 to finalize their rosters, but if Pacioretty is unable to play in Sochi, Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad, New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo or Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, who was famously left off the team, would likely be named as a replacement.
UPDATE: Pacioretty told reporters after the game that he suffered from back spasms, but he fully intends to travel to Sochi.
#Habs Pacioretty says he had back spasms and feared for his Olympic participation. Flies tomorrow to Sochi—
Dave Stubbs (@Dave_Stubbs) February 09, 2014
Check out the play that forced Pacioretty’s early exit in the video below.