Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being knocked back into his own net on a game-winning play by Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou on Monday night. Lack’s head appeared to snap backward in the collision, but the team reported that he had “full feelings in his extremities” while undergoing tests at a Raleigh hospital.
Lack subsequently told his Twitter followers, “Everything looks alright and I’ll be able to go home tonight!”
Just over two minutes into an overtime period, Athanasiou collected the puck and charged toward the net from Lack’s left. The Detroit player was pushed from behind by Carolina’s Victor Rask just before sliding the puck past the goalie and making hard contact.
Lack remained motionless on the ice for several minutes, as medical personnel attended to him and officials reviewed the play to make sure that the goal would stand. Players from both teams gathered around the goal and saluted Lack as he was placed on the stretcher. The goalie gave a thumbs-up sign while being wheeled off.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) March 28, 2017
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as Eddie Lack is taken off the ice on a stretcher following tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/aOyMaTukF1
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) March 28, 2017
The Hurricanes said they would provide additional information on Lack’s condition when it is available. The goalie’s father said on Twitter, “Eddie is sending his great full thanks for your love and prayers from the hospital.”
“I had no idea I hit him,” Athanasiou said (via the AP) after his team’s 4-3 win. “I just tried driving the net, and I felt stick on my back. He hit me pretty hard. I just tried to put the puck in the net, and even after, I had no idea I came in contact with him. I didn’t know if it was me or [Rask].”
“It was a quiet building there at the end,” Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha said (via the Detroit Free Press). “We are all hockey players, and when someone gets injured that way, it is not something you like to see. I hope he gets better soon.”
A native of Sweden, the 29-year-old Lack was making his third straight start and fifth in seven games, after playing sparingly most of the season behind veteran Cam Ward. He had also missed time this season with a pair of concussions.
“Right now, I think everyone’s thinking about their teammate, and that’s kind of where our thoughts are,” Hurricanes Coach Bill Peters said. “And then we’ll come in and we’ll know more about that situation, and we’ll refocus on hockey.”