NHL News: Aaron Ekblad leaves game on stretcher, Alex Ovechkin scores again, and is John Tortorella on thin ice

aaron ekblad injury
Mar 27, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) and defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) and center Carter Verhaeghe (23) celebrates a goal scored by against the Dallas Stars during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers were dealt another blow as Aaron Ekblad suffered a horrific looking injury. It occurred in the second period with the Panthers up 3-1 on the Stars. Florida’s star defenseman went to play the puck in the corner and there was some minor contact and as he was trying to regain his balance his left leg dug hard into the ice causing it to buckle. Ekblad ankle and knee then bent awkwardly under pressure of his weight.

NHL News: Ekblad leaves game on stretcher

Ekblad laid on the ice and banged the ice with his hand. He had to leave the game on a stretcher but acknowledged the crowd with a thumbs up. The Panthers went on to win the game 4-1. The 25 year-old defender was having a standout season with 22 points in 35 games. He’s expected to be out long-term, no further update at this time.

“That was a very important win for us,” Quenneville said. “You lose a guy like [Ekblad] and you know the severity of it, you see it, it’s not an easy game to go through. I thought the guys stayed with it and battled. Two points for him and for us, and at the same time you lose a guy that’s having one of those seasons, you have a defenseman that’s controlling the play in big minutes and all situations and you lose him and you lose his leadership, it’s tough. It’ll be a good test for us for sure.”

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NHL News: Alex Ovechkin scores again as Caps hold off late Rangers comeback

Alexander Ovechkin has scored again and reminds us all – don’t ever count him out. The Great 8 is now up to career goal 724. Prior to this month Ovechkin has 7 goals on the season. March has been Ovi-Madness as he’s now scored 11 goals in the month and has 10 in his last nine games. The Caps needed that goal as the Rangers almost stormed back with four goals in the third period, but fell short 5-4.

alex ovechkin
Mar 28, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

His goal binge has also propelled the Capitals to sole possession of first place in the East with 50 points. They are also tied with the Lightning for first overall in the NHL. Washington is rumored to be looking to bolster their lineup for the playoffs and want some goalie insurance at the trade deadline.

NHL News: Is John Tortorella on thin ice?

The Blue Jackets lost again to the last place Red Wings, this time 4-1. They can’t score and their prized trade acquisition, Patrik Laine has one goal in his last 16 games. Columbus is now winless in four straight and have only won three times in their last 11 games. It is now raising the question if John Tortorella will be with them next season.

“We played awful,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella “A ton went wrong. I think we played harder (than Saturday), but we couldn’t make a play.”

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Torts does not have a contract past the 2020-21 season with the Jackets. Some believe that he’s already being eyed as a prime candidate to take over the Buffalo Sabres should he not be re-signed in Columbus.

Other Scores:

  • Devils shutout the Bruins 1-0
  • Josh Manson gets the OT winner as Ducks beat the Blues 3-2
  • Roman Jost breaks a third period tie to lift the Predators over the Blackhawks 3-2