LOS ANGELES -- Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno was taken off the ice on a stretcher 8:26 into the third period Sunday after a collision with linesman Shane Heyer near the Los Angeles Kings blue line.
Foligno and Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter were battling for a loose puck as they approached the Kings' blue line. They came together and Foligno's head hit the hip of Heyer, who had jumped up on the ledge of the Los Angeles bench to try to get out of the way.
Foligno dropped to the ice and remained there for several minutes before he was placed onto the stretcher and wheeled off the ice. He gave a thumbs-up sign to the crowd as he was taken off the ice. The team said he was alert, talking to medical personnel at the arena and would have precautionary X-rays at Staples Center rather than a hospital.
"My understanding is he's alert and he'll be traveling back with us," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said after the 5-2 loss at Staples Center. "So that's a good thing."
Team president John Davidson told Fox Sports Ohio that "Nick will be fine."
Richards also said the Blue Jackets may have lost some focus after the incident. They trailed 3-2 when Foligno was injured but allowed two goals to Kings forward Tanner Pearson.
"You're more concerned for your teammate and the person at that point," Richards said. "The game becomes secondary."
Many of the players felt the same way.
"Trying to focus on the game was pretty tough after Nick went down," defenseman Tim Erixon said.