The Colorado Avalanche, who have been losing players throughout their second-round series against the Dallas Stars, caught a break when captain Gabriel Landeskog escaped serious injury on a fluke skate cut to his leg.
A gash opened above his right knee when he was caught by the skate of teammate Cale Makar, who was on the ice as Landeskog skated by late in the second period of Game 6 Wednesday night.
Landeskog, who has 13 points in 14 playoff games, stumbled but was able to get off the ice. He needed to be helped by a team trainer as he hopped toward the dressing room.
Landeskog to the locker room, may have gotten cut by Makar’s skate here.. pic.twitter.com/UuNOWQ4S16
He did not return for the start of the third period but eventually made it back to the bench and skated one 16-second shift with about eight minutes left. He tested the leg again during a TV timeout, but didn't skate another shift.
While Landeskog was out, the Avalanche got a Mikko Rantanen goal early in the third period to take a 3-1 lead and extend Nathan MacKinnon's point streak to 14 games. MacKinnon also scored an empty-netter as the Avalanche won 4-1 and forced a Game 7.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he doesn't know the status of Landeskog for Friday's game.
"I'm not going to say anything regarding our lineup or our injuries or goaltending," he told reporters. "I wish I could tell you, but it just doesn't benefit us at this point."
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During the series, the Avalanche have lost their top two goaltenders, Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz, plus defenseman Erik Johnson and forwards Matt Calvert and Joonas Donskoi. Defenseman Conor Timmins left Wednesday's game with an injury.
But the Avalanche, who once trailed 3-1, were able to tie the series behind two wins in 30-year-old goalie Michael Hutchinson's first two playoff starts.
“For him to be able to step in and do what he’s done for us the past couple of games is nothing short of amazing and he deserves all the credit because he’s kept himself ready," Bednar said. "It’s an exciting time, and hopefully he can repeat his performance here when we play Game 7.”
Accidental skate cuts have been an issue during the 2019-20 season with the New York Islanders' Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas, Toronto Maple Leafs' Ilya Mikheyev and Los Angeles Kings' Alec Martinez requiring surgery. Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk needed 90 stitches after his eyelid was cut by a skate. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler missed the remainder of a playoff game after getting cut in the face.
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