Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is as durable as they come, missing five games in the past six seasons.
An injury he sustained Friday in a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes appeared to be serious, but Giroux might not even miss Philadelphia's game against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
About 4:45 into the third period, Giroux's left leg was cut by the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk. Giroux was bleeding and crumpled to the ice.
Center - PHI
GOALS: 13 | ASST: 30 | PTS: 43
SOG: 145 | +/-: 9
After several moments, the trainers helped him to the locker room. He did not place any weight on his left leg.
"I knew I got hit," Giroux told CSN Philadelphia after the game. "I tried to put pressure on it and it was really weird and didn't feel really good, so I kind of panicked a little bit. The doctors did a good job, and I'm pretty lucky they were there."
The Hurricanes thought the injury was serious too. Giroux and doctors went into Carolina's tunnel, which was closer than Philadelphia's.
"[Carolina] saw it was cut and there was blood, so everybody panicked, and I didn't help the cause either by panicking," Giroux said, "but I'm just happy it's good."
Giroux has played in 408 of 413 games since the 2009-10 season. He missed five games in 2011-12 because of concussion-related symptoms.
The injury Friday looked similar to one Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson sustained two seasons ago when his left Achilles tendon was lacerated by the skate of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke. Karlsson needed surgery and was expected to miss 4-6 months but was out of the lineup 10 weeks.
"My first reaction was Karlsson, and what happened to him," Giroux said. "I got lucky. It was pretty scary. I'll see how it feels, but I would think [I can play Saturday]. I'm just happy I'm good."
Giroux is among the NHL scoring leaders with 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists).
"I was very concerned," Flyers defenseman Mark Streit said. "He was obviously in pain on the ice. Things like that are always scary. He is the most important guy to the team."
Giroux said wearing protective socks allowed him to avoid a more serious injury.
"[The doctors] said it helped me, so I was pretty happy about that," Giroux said. "I'm not even sure (how many stitches) to be honest. I didn't even ask."
Flyers coach Craig Berube said he thought Giroux would miss significant time.
"It's going through your mind," Berube said. "The guy can't get up off the ice, but fortunately it's not (serious). It was worrisome, obviously. You could tell he was cut, and when that happens, you obviously worry."
Giroux said he could be in the lineup Saturday.
"Probably," he said. "… I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'm pretty sure I got lucky there. It was pretty scary."