Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson left Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the Canadiens early with a lower-body injury and is expected to be re-evaluated to determine the severity of the injury.
The young Swedish star suffered the injury just under six minutes into the second period when he got tangled up with Canadiens rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Pettersson ended up twisting his leg underneath himself after Kotkaniemi pulled the Canucks rookie back.
Pettersson was down on the ice for several minutes, and a Canucks’ medical trainer attended to him before he skated off the ice. He went to the locker room and did not return to the game.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) January 4, 2019
Vancouver coach Travis Green explained the play Pettersson was injured on after the team’s loss, and said the rookie would be re-evaluated Friday. He added there currently is no timeline for Pettersson’s return, but that he will remain with the team on its current road trip, which finishes Saturday against the Maple Leafs.
“Two guys get tangled. I’ve watched it a lot of times. It’s not a dirty play by their player at all. He gets hooked a little bit. Petey actually pushes back on him a bit in a reverse hit,” Green said, via Vancouver Sun. “Two young guys fall to the ice. It’s not a penalty.”
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 4, 2019
Kotkaniemi told reporters he wasn’t sure what happened, but he didn’t intend to hurt Pettersson. He explained,“We both fell down. Maybe I fell on his leg.”
The 20-year-old center has 22 goals and 20 assists in his first 38 games and was named this week to the All-Star Game.