Hurricanes’ Nathan Gerbe injured by huge hit from Kings’ Kyle Clifford

Carolina Hurricanes winger Nathan Gerbe was injured following a big hit by Los Angeles Kings winger Kyle Clifford. The hit was clean, but Gerbe was forced out of the game with a lower-body injury.

Carolina took on Los Angeles in a matinee tilt Sunday, and the outing ended early for the Hurricanes’ Nathan Gerbe following a massive hit from Kings winger Kyle Clifford.

With seven minutes remaining in the first frame, Gerbe and Clifford were both skating towards a loose puck deep in the Kings’ zone. Gerbe went to put the puck behind the Los Angeles goal when Clifford crunched him into the boards. Immediately, Gerbe popped up and hobbled towards the bench, where he was helped off the ice and to the dressing room by the Hurricanes’ training staff:

Before Clifford could even turn back, Carolina’s Brad Malone was coming to Gerbe’s aid. Both Malone and Clifford were issued fighting majors, and Clifford didn’t earn any additional penalties for the hit.

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Before the second period began, the Hurricanes announced Gerbe would not be returning to the contest due to a lower-body injury. It’s difficult to tell on the replay where Gerbe was injured or what the potential ailment could be. There could be some cause for concern, though, as the 28-year-old missed four games last season with a lower-body injury.

Gerbe has notched just one goal and three points this season, which puts him on pace for his lowest career totals since he became a full-time NHLer in 2010-11.