MONTREAL (AP) — Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller suffered a concussion, plus facial and dental fractures on a hit from Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba.
Eller was taken from the ice on a stretcher after the hit in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference series Thursday night. He is spending the night in a hospital, the Canadiens said.
A pool of blood was left on the ice near the Canadiens' blue line after Eller was caught with his head down on an open ice hit by Gryba. Eller, who touched the puck before contact, eventually sat up, bleeding heavily from his forehead. He was placed on the stretcher and wheeled out of the Bell Center and taken to the hospital.
Eller had taken a pass up the middle at the blue line from Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz and was reaching for the puck on the hit.
"I stepped up to make a hit. I kept my shoulder down. He received the puck by the time I hit him," Gryba said. "I saw the replay. My elbow was down and there was no intent to hurt him whatsoever and I hope that he's OK. I'm not out here to hurt anybody and it's never good to seeing anything like that.
"I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery."