Pacioretty exits game after crashing into boards

It looked like a routine hockey check on Max Pacioretty in the fight for the puck in the corner. Except the Canadien lost an edge and seemed to smack his head on his way down.

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty left Sunday’s game against the Florida Panthers after hitting his head hard into the boards.

The team has announced he will not return.

The incident occurred midway through the first period, when Pacioretty was clipped by Panthers defenceman Dmitri Kulikov, sending him awkwardly into the boards.

He was visibly shaken and slow to get up.

The extent of the injury is not yet known. The loss of the winger would be a huge blow to the Canadiens, especially so close to the playoffs.

Pacioretty ranks first on the team in goals and game-winning goals and fifth in assists.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.