CENTENNIAL, Colo.—Alex Tanguay learned the power behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin's slap shot the hard way.
The Colorado Avalanche forward was struck below his right eye with the puck Thursday night after Ovechkin fired a shot following a faceoff in the Colorado zone at 7:29 of the second period. Tanguay didn't return to the game as he immediately went to the bench and down the tunnel to the Avalanche locker room after being hit.
Head coach Patrick Roy said Friday that Tanguay suffered a facial fracture. He didn't give a timeline of when one of the Avs' leading scorers could return, only saying that he would not play Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
|Alex Tanguay scores on goalie Jonathan Bernier of the Toronto Maple Leafs at Pepsi Center on Nov. 6, 2014 in Denver, Colo. (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) |
Tanguay is lucky as the injury could have been a lot worse and a lot more serious.
"He was not happy after it, but it's part of the game," Roy said. "You don't like to see stuff like that happen. Especially from a guy like Ovechkin that has a really good shot. It could be scary at times."
After missing most of last year with knee and hip injuries, the left wing has had a resurgent season as he leads the club in goals (7) and is tied for third in points (11). He had been on a bit of a hot stretch entering the contest against the Capitals, recording three goals and two assists in his last six games.
"He texted me last night after the game and said that he will try and come back as soon as possible," Roy said. "Knowing Tang, I know he has the success of the team at heart. He knows that he is an important player, and he will do whatever he can to come back as soon as possible."
Rookie right wing Dennis Everberg is also banged up and could be on the shelf for 'awhile,' according to Roy.
Everberg separated his shoulder after being checked in the corner boards by Washington's Tom Wilson with 6:18 left in the third period, a hit that drew a roughing penalty. Like Tanguay, Everberg went straight to the locker room and didn’t finish the game.
The injuries of Everberg and Tanguay add to an ever-growing list for the club. Defenseman Ryan Wilson is out for the season after having shoulder surgery on Wednesday while Patrick Bordeleau (back), Brad Stuart (hamstring) and Jesse Winchester (head) are all out indefinitely. Semyon Varlamov (groin) is day-to-day as the team remains cautious with its netminder, and forward Jamie McGinn (back) was still being evaluated when Roy met with the media on Friday.
With eight players out of the lineup, the Avalanche recalled forwards Andrew Agozzino, Ben Street and Tomas Vincour from the Lake Erie Monsters in the afternoon and placed Everberg, McGinn and Stuart on injured reserve to make room on the 23-man active roster. McGinn (Nov. 15) and Stuart (Nov. 4) were put on retroactively and could return as early as Tuesday at Arizona.
Both Street and Vincour played well during this year's training camp and preseason before suffering injuries, beginning the season on the Avalanche's injured non-roster list. Agozzino was also one of the pleasant surprises during this year's camp, and was one of the last players cut before the regular season.
Signed as an undrafted free agent in March 2013, Agozzino has held at least a share of the Monsters' scoring title for the past two seasons. He recorded 49 points (17 goals and 32 assists) in 2013-14, tied with Mark Olver for the team lead, and 52 points (20 goals and 32 assists) in 2012-13. He is fourth on the club in scoring this year with three goals and five assists and leads Lake Erie with 34 shots on goal.
Street began last season with the Calgary Flames, playing in the club's first eight contests and 13 overall. He signed a two-year deal with the Avs in the offseason, and he made his debut with Lake Erie on Nov. 7 versus Utica. Street tallied his first goal of the year last Saturday against Adirondack.
Vincour made his season debut for the Monsters on Nov. 12 at Grand Rapids and has one goal and one assist in three AHL games. Acquired in a trade with the Dallas Stars on April 2, 2013, Vincour appeared in two games for Colorado at the end of that season before playing in Russia last year. He has registered seven goals and six assists in 88 career NHL games.
All three players could make their season debuts for the Avs against the Hurricanes, with Agozzino also making his NHL debut if he plays.