Maple Leafs’ John Tavares stretchered off ice in Game 1 loss to Canadiens

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[UPDATE: Tavares has been discharged from a local hospital and is out indefinitely.]

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares had to be stretchered off the ice in their 2-1 Game 1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night following a scary collision with Montreal’s Corey Perry.

Tavares was initially pushed backwards by Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot. As he fell to the ice, Perry inadvertently collided with his head as he skated by to get back into the play, leaving Tavares in obvious distress on the ice. Trainers immediately tended to him. For as scary as the initial collision was, things looked even worse as they tried to set Tavares up on the ice and he immediately fell over backwards.

As he was taken off the ice on a stretcher Tavares did raise his arm and give up a thumbs up.

Nick Foligno fought Perry on his next shift.

Tavares was taken to a local hospital, and according to coach Sheldon Keefe after the game he is communicating well and initial tests are clear. He will remain in the hospital.

The Canadiens ended up taking Game 1 of the series thanks to a 35-save effort from Carey Price and goals from Josh Anderson and Paul Byron. Byron’s goal, a shorthanded tally, came late in the third period on an impressive individual effort as he was falling to the ice for the game-winning goal.

MAPLE LEAFS VS. CANADIENS – series livestream link

Game 1: Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1
Saturday, May 22: Canadiens at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (CNBC)
Monday, May 24: Maple Leafs at Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET
Tuesday, May 25: Maple Leafs at Canadiens TBD
*Thursday, May 27: Canadiens at Maple Leafs TBD
*Saturday, May 29: Maple Leafs at Canadiens TBD
*Monday, May 31: Canadiens at Maple Leafs TBD

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.