The Florida Panthers allowed an early two-goal lead to slip away on Friday night in what turned out to be a 4-3 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Along with losing the lead and the game, the Panthers also lost forward Reilly Smith to a concussion when he was on the receiving end of a massive hit from Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall in the second period. You can see the hit again in the video above.
Smith left the game and did not return, while coach Tom Rowe said after the game that Smith suffered a concussion and is expected to miss at least the next 7-10 days. That timeframe, assuming it does not change — and with concussions you never really know how it could change — means he is likely to miss at least the Panthers’ next three games coming out of the holiday break.
They Toronto and Montreal on back-to-back nights on Wednesday and Thursday before going on the road to Dallas on Saturday.
After a 25-goal, 50-point season a year ago for the Panthers the 2016-17 season has been a tougher one for Smith with just seven goals and eight assists in his first 35 games. Perhaps even more concerning for the Panthers is that 15 point total is still good enough for fifth on the team.
The injury comes just as Smith was starting to see his point production pick up a bit. After record just seven points in his first 23 games he had eight in his past 12. That includes five points (three goals) in the past six games.