It was a frightening scene Tuesday as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Michael Kostka lay motionless on the ice and a hush fell over the entire crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Moments earlier Kostka had taken a vicious hit to the head from the Montreal Canadiens Douglas Murray.
Mike Kostka #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (C) is helped off the ice by Victor Hedman #77 after being injured against the Montreal Canadiens
"He was out cold," Steven Stamkos said.
As soon as he saw his teammate down, the Bolts' captain jumped over the boards and helped guide a stretcher to where Kostka was laying. After several minutes Kostka was eventually able to skate off on his own.
"I don't know how he skated off on his own power," head coach Jon Cooper said.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Murray was given a match penalty and faces supplemental discipline from the league.
"I told him that's a dangerous play," Stamkos said.
Unable to see the hit from the bench, Cooper said the crowd's reaction said it all.
"It's a fast game, it's an instinctive game, and those are the things we're trying to take out of the game," Cooper said. "I'm sure Murray wasn't looking to hit him in the head. I think maybe he thought Mike was going to get around him, I don't know."
Kostka was diagnosed with a concussion and there is no timetable for his return. He is not expected to speak to media today.
Murray's hearing with the league is scheduled for Thursday.