CHICAGO - Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit by Phoenix's Raffi Torres in the first period of Game 3 of their opening-round playoff series on Tuesday night.
Hossa was near the boards at centre ice and had just turned and passed the puck when Torres left his skates and delivered a late shot with his shoulder that knocked Hossa to the ice. Hossa was down for about five minutes as medical personnel rushed immediately to his side, and then was taken off of the ice.
"Marian Hossa suffered an upper body blow in the first period of tonight’s game," Blackhawks head physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement.
"After initial evaluation on the ice he was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further testing, which yielded encouraging results. He has been released from the hospital and we are monitoring him closely at home. We anticipate a full recovery in a timetable yet to be determined."
Seconds after the hit, Chicago's Brandon Bolig was given a 10-minute misconduct for roughing.
Torres, who had run-ins with the Blackhawks previously while with Vancouver, wasn't penalized. Last season, in Game 3 of the first-round series, Torres delivered a hard hit to Brent Seabrook.
"It's tough. You saw the hit," Chicago's Patrick Kane said between periods. "I think it'll be reviewed by the league. It's just tough you don't get a power play out of it. Hossa's a big part of our team so someone's going to have to step up and fill the void."
NHL players took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the latest controversial hit in these contentious playoffs.
"Just witnessed another suspension in the Chicago Phoenix series....!," posted Dallas captain Brenden Morrow.
Toronto forward Tyler Bozak posted: "Really hope Hossa is okay. Hate seeing stuff like that!"
Player agent Allan Walsh added: "This has spiraled from out of control to total chaos. Do we really need a player to die on the ice for this insanity to stop?"