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Wild's Ballard injured; Islanders' Halak misses start

NHL.com @NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard left the game Tuesday against the New York Islanders midway through the second period after hit from left wing Matt Martin.

Ballard left with 11:56 left in the second after being driven hard into the boards by Martin. A stretcher was sent on to the ice, but Ballard was able to get up and headed to the dressing room with the help of the Wild training staff.

Ballard is conscious and was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for further evaluation and observation, according to the Wild. They did not have an update on his condition following the game.

"Seeing a guy down like that, it really hits you," defenseman Nate Prosser, still visibly shaken after the Wild rallied for a 5-4 win. "It's something you never want to see in this sport. It was scary. It was tough to see him down like that."

Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak was forced to miss his scheduled start because of an upper-body injury.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano announced Halak as his starter following the morning skate. At some point between then and when he came out for warm-ups, Halak sustained his injury.

Halak was available off the bench if needed. Chad Johnson started for New York in his first game since Nov. 28 against the Washington Capitals.

Halak is 14-5-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .920 save percentage and had an 11-game winning streak end Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.

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