Many fans will remember Friday’s Capitals-Jets game for Alex Ovechkin tying and passing Gordie Howe on the goals list. But there was one moment that sucked all the air out of the building.
Early in the third period, the entire arena fell silent after witnessing star defenseman John Carlson take a Brenden Dillon slap shot directly to the head.
Carlson was left bleeding profusely from the cheek area and was rushed down to the locker room.
After the game, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said that Carlson was transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.
“It’s tough that Carly wasn’t there tonight because he sits right next to Ovi and is such a loud, vocal piece inside the locker room,” Laviolette said per the Capitals’ Mike Vogel. “Right now he is under the care of team physicians, and is being transported to the hospital for precautionary evaluation.”
NBC Sports Washington’s Alan May said on the postgame show that Carlson’s facial wound, for now, was “superficial.” He added that Carlson left a trail of blood from the ice to the locker room.
Carlson, who is averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game this season only skated 16:12 on Friday before being forced to exit the contest. The play in question happened 55 seconds into the third period after Dylan Strome lost a face-off to Adam Lowry. Carlson was struck around the right cheek/ear area and immediately went down to the ice.
Warning: The following video may be disturbing to some.
Scary moment as John Carlson takes a slapshot to the face. Hoping he's okay. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Bx89BnPdRK
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) December 24, 2022
Play was stopped for a good few minutes as arena staff worked to clean up the large puddle of blood left on the ice. During the stoppage, the entire arena was silent.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin who became the NHL’s second all-time goal scorer in the same game could be seen bowing his head at the bench and saying some words for his teammate.
Alex Ovechkin bent over and appeared to say a prayer for John Carlson on the bench after his longtime teammate got hit in the head by a slap shot. Carlson immediately went down to the locker room and was bleeding profusely. pic.twitter.com/UVtXuH344m
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) December 24, 2022
From everybody at RMNB, we’re wishing the best for John and sending good vibes to his entire family.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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