Officials blew play dead with 17:45 remaining in the period, seconds after Minnesota's Nick Schultz tied the game 2-2 at the Xcel Energy Center. On the ensuing faceoff, Wild defenseman Marco Scandella and Sharks forward Jamie McGinn got tangled near the Sharks bench. Scandella's stick hit McLellan on the head, dropping him to a knee and then to the ground. Play continued for several moments before play was stopped with the puck deep in the Sharks zone.
"I didn't see it. I saw the player come into the boards and saw our players kind of push him out," said Sharks assistant coach Matt Shaw. "Todd was trying to compose himself and stay upright and you could tell he was in some discomfort, so I kind of grabbed him."
"I could tell I hit something pretty hard, but I didn't know what it was," Scandella said.
"Freak accident," McGinn said. "I hit [Scandella] and skated away. I didn't even know what happened."
Sharks players surrounded the bench as medical and arena personnel helped McLellan to his feet and into the locker room. A stretcher was wheeled over to the bench, but was not needed.
McLellan did not return to the bench during the game, but Shaw said he watched from the locker room, offering words at both the second intermission and after the game.
"It wouldn't have been a good idea for him to come out," Shaw said.
McLellan was not well enough to comment after the game, but was alert and headed back to San Jose with the team. The Sharks host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.
— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016