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Panthers’ Booth helped off ice after hit to head by Canadiens’ Spacek

MONTREAL – Florida Panthers forward David Booth was taken to hospital after a shoulder hit to the head by Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jaroslav Spacek on Thursday night.

Booth, who missed 45 games this season with a concussion, was crossing the Montreal blue-line with his head down when Spacek stepped into him with a shoulder. The Panthers forward lay on the ice for several minutes and looked wobbly as he was escorted off the ice by trainers.

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Panthers officials described Booth’s condition as alert and coherent before being taken to hospital.

Booth’s injury from a blindside hit by Philadelphia’s Mike Richards on Oct. 24 sparked a debate over headshots that eventually prompted the league to bring in stiff penalties for lateral or from-behind hits to the head for the rest of this season and the playoffs.

The hit by Spacek, who was not penalized on the play, was from the front.