BROSSARD, Quebec (AP) - Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has a severe concussion and a fractured vertebra from a frightening hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara.
Pacioretty fractured the fourth cervical vertebra and is in a hospital under observation, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said Wednesday.
"There is no other prognosis at this time," Martin said after practice.
Pacioretty was wheeled off the ice with 15.8 seconds left in the second period of the Canadiens' 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
Martin said his player "obviously be out indefinitely."
"The most important thing for our organization right now is Max's recovery. We will continue following recommendations from the doctors and of course, Max and his immediate family would appreciate privacy in this matter," he added in a statement on the Canadiens' website.
The 22-year-old player was chasing the puck along the boards in front of the team benches late in the second period when he was checked hard by Chara. His head slammed into the glass partition between the benches. He lay motionless on the ice for several minutes before he was taken to hospital, where he spent the night.
"What I remember about it was the sound - it sounded like a gun: bang!" said Pacioretty's linemate Scott Gomez. "Stuff like that is tough to look at."
Chara was given a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct.
The Bruins captain had a scheduled telephone hearing with NHL vice president Mike Murphy to determine whether he faces further discipline.
Murphy hears cases involving Boston in place of league disciplinarian Colin Campbell, whose son, Gregory, plays for the Bruins.