The losses continue to pile up for the Florida Panthers. So, too, do the injuries.
Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe confirmed post-game that the club’s cornerstone defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion on a hit in the second period from Gabrel Dumont. Ekblad left the game and didn’t return. Per the Sun Sentinel, the club also lost forward Denis Malgin to a concussion.
There was no call on the Dumont hit on Ekblad, whose head was slammed into the glass, causing him to fall back to the ice.
However, Rowe had some stern words about the incident.
“I thought the hit on Ekblad was dangerous. We’ll leave it up to the league to review it and see what they think,” he said, later calling the hit “a real cheap shot from behind.”
Ekblad is only 21 years old, but already has a concerning history when it comes to head injuries. During the World Cup prior to this season, he suffered what was first described as a mild concussion before that was changed to a neck injury.
He also went through concussion protocol last year after a hit from Matt Hendricks.
Just more bad news for the Panthers, who surged to a two-goal lead in the first period versus Tampa Bay, but lost 3-2. Ondrej Palat scored the winner with 2:23 remaining in regulation.
The Panthers now have only two wins in their last 10 games.
According to Sports Club Stats, the Panthers now have a 0.6 per cent chance of making the playoffs.