ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues goalie Manny Legace left after one period Friday night with a hip injury that occurred when he slipped on the carpet placed on the ice for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The Alaska governor dropped the ceremonial first puck before the Blues hosted the Los Angeles Kings. A narrow carpet walkway was placed from the gate at the Blues bench to centre ice for Palin, her husband and two of her daughters.
Just before the ceremony, Legace was the first player onto the ice for St. Louis. A team official pointed to the carpet. But Legace said the official moved his own foot from the carpet just as Legace stepped down, causing the carpet to slide.
Legace fell, then gingerly made his way to the crease.
After Legace’s mishap, the official rolled up enough of the carpet so other players wouldn’t have to step on it.
Legace described the injury as a strained left hip flexor. He doesn’t believe it is serious but said it is painful. He said he won’t play Saturday when the Blues host Florida, but wasn’t sure if he’d miss any additional games.
“I felt a pull right away,” Legace said. “I was hoping it would just go away.”
But after making his first save, the injury felt worse, Legace said. He played one period, giving up two goals on 12 shots. After the intermission, the team said he suffered a “lower body” injury but did not immediately elaborate. He was replaced by Ben Bishop, making his NHL debut.
Legace is 4-2 with a 2.94 goals-against average in six games this season. He is 313-291 in his nine-year career. He was selected to the Western Conference all-star team last season.
It was Palin’s second appearance at an NHL game this month. She also dropped the ceremonial puck at Philadelphia on Oct. 11.
Legace didn’t blame Palin for the injury.
“She’s been pretty good for our game,” Legace said. “I’m starting to like her more and more. No grudge.”