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.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut