Despite hosting their first Game 7 at the Bank Atlantic Center, the Florida Panthers probably went into tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils as the underdog in many peoples’ eyes. Their resiliency will be put to the test that much more after a very tough start. Adam Henrique scored a minute and a half in while Panthers teammates John Madden and Tomas Kopecky suffered from a brutal, accidental collision just moments later.
Madden was seen bleeding over the surface until Panthers trainers helped him off the ice. Update: quite remarkably, Madden returned to the ice within the first period, according to reports such as Tom Gulliti’s Tweet.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
No word on the severity or specificity of Madden’s injury, but that collision looked ugly. Brian Engblom described it as “head-on-head” impact. You could see Madden’s head torque back from the impact.
Scoring the first goal has been big in Game 7s and crucial in this series so far, yet if any team can defy expectations, it’s the Panthers. Tonight’s game certainly didn’t begin favorably for Florida, though.