Pitkanen was racing to make a touch for icing alongside Washington forward Troy Brouwer. Pitkanen went hard into the boards without slowing much of his impact. He remained down on the ice in obvious pain for several minutes. As the stretcher was pushed to the far end of the ice, Pitkanen covered his face with his hands while he received a loud ovation from the fans at PNC Arena.
Pitkanen has one goal and nine points through 21 games this season. When the injury occurred, the Capitals led 4-3 and extended the lead to 5-3 by the end of the second period. Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty has a hat trick in the game, while Washington forward Nicklas Backstrom has four assists.
He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.
— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft