Patrick Kane leaves game after hit into boards

Watch as Chicago Blackhawks superstars Patrick Kane falls heavily into the boards after a check from Alex Petrovic of the Florida Panthers.

Heading into Tuesday night, it seemed the only thing that could stand between Patrick Kane and his first Hart Trophy nomination would be an injury.

Now, Chicago Blackhawks fans are hoping the league’s leading point-getter is OK.

Kane took an awkward tumble into the boards against the Florida Panthers Tuesday night. Panthers defenceman Alex Petrovic gave Kane a bit of a shove from behind in the dangerous area just a couple feet away from the boards and Kane took a violent fall.

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The 2008 Calder Trophy winner, Kane is currently tied with Washington Capitals centre Nicklas Backstrom for the NHL points lead with 64 in 60 games. This has been the best year Kane has enjoyed since scoring 30 goals and 88 points in 2009-10, when Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Sedin were the three Hart finalists.

If Kane has to miss time, it could cost him the league MVP vote in what has been a very close race. Even worse, it would make it that much more difficult for his Blackhawks’ teammates to stay ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, who sit in a wild card position just four points behind Chicago. With the Los Angeles Kings and the Minnesota Wild both coming on strong in the Western playoff race, it’s not the best time for Chicago to lose their star winger this season.

It wasn’t an intentionally dirty hit thrown by Petrovic – it was more a shove than a hit – but the knock on the lower back was done in the most dangerous spot in the ice. Never shove a guy in the lower back when he’s less than five feet from the boards. Petrovic got a two-minute cross-checking penalty on the play, but boarding or hitting from behind could have also applied.

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