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Hurricanes' Pitkanen leaves game on stretcher @NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen left the ice on a stretcher with 1:57 remaining in the second period of Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals.

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.

The Hurricanes had dressed seven defenseman after acquiring Marc-Andre Bergeron earlier in the day from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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