COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire suffered a bruised neck against Washington after he was run into by two players late in the second period Tuesday night.
Leclaire was helped off the ice and did not return. Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the 4-3 overtime loss that Leclaire would not make the trip when the team leaves Wednesday morning for games at Phoenix and San Jose.
“He has a neck contusion,” Hitchcock said. “I’ll have a better evaluation tomorrow morning.”
The Blue Jackets may call up prized juniors goaltending prospect Steve Mason to back up Fredrik Norrena while Leclaire is sidelined.
The Blue Jackets were leading 2-1 when Leclaire was hurt.
Leclaire, the NHL leader in shutouts with eight, was in the crease when he was hit hard by teammate Jan Hejda and Capitals left wing Quintin Laing at the 15:22 mark. Laing was assessed a minor penalty for goaltender interference on the play.
“That was accidental,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I thought Quint was trying to hold up. I hope he (Leclaire) is not hurt.”
Leclaire ended up in the back of the net with both players atop him. He stayed on the ice for several minutes while he was attended to by a trainer, who massaged his neck as Leclaire grimaced. He was then helped off the ice.
Norrena came out to replace him. The Capitals scored on the first shot Norrena faced, tying it at 2.
“It’s unfortunate Pazzy got hurt,” Hitchcock said. “He had a real bead on the game. He was playing terrific and giving us every opportunity.”