NHL: Defender Aaron Ekblad left the game with a lower-body injury

Florida Panthers 3-0 win over Anaheim Ducks clouded by loss of star defenseman Aaron Ekblad in the first period following a heavy fall on the ice.

After just a minute of play in Friday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, the defenseman made contact with teammate Aleksander Barkov and Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler in an attempt to get the puck out of his crease.

Following the collision, Ekblad fell on the ice and struggled to get up. When he did, it was only with the help of the healers that he was able to retreat to the locker room.

The Panthers confirmed before the start of the second period that he would not return.

It would be a huge loss for the Florida team, which has just acquired Ben Chiarot for the final stretch of the season.

We will have to wait for updates on the state of health of the defender who suffered a serious injury a little over a year ago, depriving him of his end of the season. In March 2021, Ekblad suffered a broken left leg in a game against the Dallas Stars.

The Panthers, however, overcame the injury of their best defenseman to still defeat the Ducks.

Jonathan Huberdeau hit the target twice in the first period on the winning side. Joe Thornton scored his third goal in the middle period, his fifth goal of the campaign. Spencer Knight was perfect in front of the Panthers net in front of just 17 shots.

John Gibson’s outfit was the only bright spot for Anaheim. The American goalkeeper was solid, stopping 39 of the 42 shots he faced.

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