Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun is on his way back to South Florida with the team Monday night after being taken to an Atlanta-area hospital due to a lacerated ear after being accidentally hit by a teammate’s stick. Vokoun required several stiches to close up the deep laceration.
Just seconds after Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk scored at 8:54 of the first period, defenseman Keith Ballard swung his stick in frustration at the goal post. Vokoun, who was down on the ice, started to get up and was struck on the side of the head by Ballard’s two-handed swing.
Vokoun lay on the ice for approximately eight minutes before being carried off the ice on a stretch. Vokoun, who was alert and responsive, was accompanied to the hospital by Steve Dischiavi, the Panthers assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist.
"Obviously, a scary moment," Stephen Weiss
told Fox Sports Florida. "You never want to see anyone get hurt like that, especially a teammate. We were just making sure he was OK. None of us was really sure what happened, so we were just trying to figure out what exactly happened. We found out...we got the word he was fine." Scott Clemmensen
entered the game in goal upon Vokoun’s departure.