Avalanche’s O’Reilly taken off on stretcher during second period against Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Colorado centre Ryan O’Reilly was taken off the ice on a stretcher early in the second period Friday night against Minnesota after losing his balance and crashing head-first into the boards.

A team official said O’Reilly had movement in his arms and legs and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

O’Reilly fell while pursuing the puck alongside Minnesota’s Matt Cullen.

Play was stopped for about 10 minutes while trainers attended to the motionless O’Reilly. Avalanche coach Joe Sacco gathered his players near the bench to try to get them re-focused before play resumed in Colorado’s 4-1 victory.

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“What I tried to right after that happened and he went off was just tell the guys that he was going to be fine and make sure that we stayed strong within the game,” Sacco said. “Sometimes you tend to drift a little bit when you see a teammate go off like that. It’s just human nature.”

O’Reilly has five goals and 10 assists this season.

“He was moving and it sounds like he’s OK,” goalie Craig Anderson said. “You’ve got to find a way to pick him up.

“It was our job and our duty to win the game for him.”