Apr 26, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT
Despite hosting their first Game 7 at the Bank Atlantic Center, the Florida Panthers probably went into tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils as the underdog in many peoples’ eyes. Their resiliency will be put to the test that much more after a very tough start. Adam Henrique scored a minute and a half in while Panthers teammates John Madden and Tomas Kopecky suffered from a brutal, accidental collision just moments later.
Madden was seen bleeding over the surface until Panthers trainers helped him off the ice. Update: quite remarkably, Madden returned to the ice within the first period, according to reports such as Tom Gulliti’s Tweet.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
No word on the severity or specificity of Madden’s injury, but that collision looked ugly. Brian Engblom described it as “head-on-head” impact. You could see Madden’s head torque back from the impact.
Scoring the first goal has been big in Game 7s and crucial in this series so far, yet if any team can defy expectations, it’s the Panthers. Tonight’s game certainly didn’t begin favorably for Florida, though.
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 0
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 5
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 12
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 12
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4
- Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return 28