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.
I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic