The long-awaited first-round playoff game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday was difficult to watch for Leafs fans when their team captain John Tavares was stretchered off the ice.
UPDATE: The Leafs released an update about John Tavares on Friday morning, saying that he has been discharged from the hospital and is now resting at home under the care of physicians. He will be out indefinitely.
EARLIER: Tavares was hit by the Habs' Ben Chiarot towards the end of the first period. As he was falling, Canadiens' forward Corey Perry accidentally hit Tavares in the head with his knee while he was trying to get out of the exit zone, causing the Toronto captain to fall face-first onto the ice. Silence fell over the arena as the medical crew rushed over to help Tavares, who could barely hold himself up.
Tavares flashed a thumbs-up as he was taken away, and Leafs' head coach Sheldon Keefe said after the game that Tavares was "conscious and communicating well."
"I felt sick to my stomach when I saw it. It was a scary situation. I'll reach out to him and talk to him and hope he's OK," said Perry to NHL.com.
"You think about him as a family man too," said Leafs' Nick Foligno. "The game kind of takes a back seat no matter the circumstances when you see somebody in that much pain, and an unfortunate play like it was."
Concerned Leafs fans have taken to Twitter to wish the player a speedy recovery. One Twitter user said it was one of the scariest injuries they'd ever seen on the team, while another wrote, "No matter who [you're] a fan of tonight [everyone] should be a fan of a safe a speedy recovery of John Tavares."
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