Calgary Flames defenseman Jakub Nakladal is going to be considering himself awfully lucky Saturday night after he escaped a scary incident without serious injury.
Nakladal was skating back into the Flames’ zone to collect a puck that had been dumped into the left wing corner by the Penguins midway through the second period when he got tangled up with Pittsburgh’s Tom Kuhnhackl. The two were battling for ice on the way to the puck when Kuhnhackl’s stick came up and caught Nakladal under the visor right near his eye:
Nakladal remained on the ice for a few moments while being attended to by the training staff, and was able to skate off the ice with a towel pressed to his face. There were reports that Nakladal could potentially return to Saturday’s game. He did not, however, and post-game Flames coach Bob Hartley said it may be a few days before Nakladal can come back.
"There's blood in the eye but there's no serious damage,” Hartley said of Nakladal. “We think he should be good to go in the next couple of days.”
Nakladal, 28, is in his first NHL season and Saturday was his 11th career NHL contest. He signed one-year entry-level deal with Calgary in the off-season, and has managed one goal and two points while averaging 12:20 per game.