Logan Couture will be out approximately six weeks after the San Jose Sharks forward fractured his ankle against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
Couture fell into the end boards after he collided with Blues defenseman Vince Dunn in the second period and had to be helped off the ice.
"Weird play. He nudged me a little bit when I wasn't expecting it," Couture said Thursday. "That's my own fault, I've got to protect myself one-on-one going into the boards. I take responsibility for not protecting myself the proper way."
Couture, who leads San Jose with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 45 games in his first season as captain, said he hopes to return ahead of the six-week timeline. He will not be able to play in the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25; he was the Sharks' representative on the Pacific Division team.
"A lot of (the time frame) depends on how my bone heals, and a lot of times you don't know how long that can take," Couture said. "I'm sure that's an estimate. It could be -- and I'm hoping -- it's quicker. It might not be, it might be longer. You don't know."
San Jose (19-22-4) is nine points behnd the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.
"It's going to be tough to watch, but I have confidence in the guys they're continue to go out there and play this way and win some hockey games," Couture said. "When a guy goes down, a guy who plays a lot of minutes, that gives opportunity to other players and we've got guys who can handle that, guys who are going to step up and take on bigger roles and succeed."
The Sharks, who have a point in five of their past seven games (3-2-2), host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-O, NHL.TV).
"It's going to give guys more opportunity to play more minutes and everybody's going to have to pick it up," Sharks forward Patrick Marleau said. "Obviously, [Couture] is our captain, our leader, and one of our best players, so it's a big hole to fill. There's opportunity for everybody to kind of pull things along for him."
Couture has 543 points (254 goals, 289 assists) in 708 games with San Jose since making his NHL debut in 2009-10.
"[Logan] is a guy who's grown to voice his opinion in the room, and you can hear him in between periods saying the right things," San Jose coach Bob Boughner said. "… Guys that are wearing the letters, they need to step up a little bit too and take a little bit of what [Couture] had."
NHL.com independent correspondent Ross McKeon contributed to this story