The New York Islanders defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 Friday night, but at the same time suffered a major loss. First line centre and captain John Tavares suffered a leg injury in the third period of the game and would need the help of teammates to exit the ice. He would not return to the game. It was announced Saturday morning that Tavares would be out “week-to-week” with a leg injury.
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New York Islanders Lose John Tavares to Injury
Tavares was injured in the third period. He was chasing after the puck behind the Devils net when he got tangled up with New Jersey defenseman Steven Santini. Tavares fell to the ice and was in immediate pain. He clutched the back of his left leg/upper thigh. As of right now, there has been no specific diagnosis of the injury.
“It’s a big blow,” coach Doug Weight told NHL.com. “Anytime you see your best player go down, and obviously he was in some distress, but these guys have been around. Injuries happen. It’s not fun, but it gives somebody a chance, right? It’s going to give some more minutes to throw around, some big challenges at a good time of the year. We’ve got to win a game on Sunday. The morale will be fine. It’s nothing you want to deal with, but it happens in a game.”
Tavares is definitely a key piece to the Islanders offense. With five games remaining this season, New York are fighting to make the playoffs. The Isles are currently tied with the Carolina Hurricanes with 84 points, and trail the Boston Bruins (88 points) for the final wild card slot in the Eastern Conference.
In 77 games played this season, Tavares has scored 28 goals and has added 38 assists for 66 points. With him being listed as week-to-week, and with the Islanders playoff chances looking slim, it seems that his season may be done. The question would then become how long his recovery process is and the seriousness of the injury.