The New Jersey Devils were recently eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. The Devils played Game 5 of the series without one of their top defencemen. Sami Vatanen was injured in Game 4 on a high hit delivered by Tampa winger Nikita Kucherov. Today Vatanen revealed the extent of that injury, as he told Amanda Stein that he suffered a concussion and facial lacerations on the play.
#NJDevils: Sami Vatanen confirms he sustained a concussion and a facial laceration from the Kucherov hit in Game 4.
— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) April 24, 2018
Sami Vatanen Suffered Concussion on Nikita Kucherov Hit
Vatanen was injured on the hit by Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov that came late in the first period of Game 4. He did not play again in the game or the series. While some analysts have claimed that the hit is a headshot, there was no penalty on the play and Kucherov was not be disciplined by the NHL Department of Player Safety for the play.
Sami Vatanen headed to the locker room after this hit from Nikita Kucherov. pic.twitter.com/tw3Bap5zHK
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 19, 2018
Vatanen had one goal in four games in the series. This season, Vatanen scored four goals and 28 assists for 32 points in 72. He also added 40 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 48.7 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -1.0. Vatanen started the season with the Anaheim Ducks and played 15 games for the team before being traded to the Devils in a move that saw Adam Henrique go to Anaheim.
Over his six-year NHL career, Vatanen has played for the Devils and Ducks. He has put up 36 goals and 118 assists for 154 career points in 337 career games. He was originally drafted in the fourth-round, 106th overall of the 2009 NHL draft by the Ducks.
Main Photo: NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 03: Sami Vatanen #45 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Rangers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)