March 28 (UPI) -- Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad was taken off the ice on a stretcher after suffering a significant left leg injury during Sunday's game against the Dallas Stars.
Midway through the second period, Ekblad attempted to pass the puck as he was moving toward the boards. While sliding the puck away, he got caught up with Stars defenseman Esa Lindell in the corner and fell awkwardly.
Officials halted play to allow trainers to attend to Ekblad, who was placed in an aircast. His teammates surrounded him before he finally left the ice on a stretcher.
Following the team's 4-1 win, Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville said Ekblad will fly home with the team Sunday night before undergoing additional tests Monday.
"We think he's going to be out for an extensive time," Quenneville told reporters.
Ekblad has recorded 11 goals this season, tied for the most among NHL defensemen. He scored the Panthers' winning goal in overtime Saturday night against the Stars.
The Panthers were already playing their third consecutive game without captain Aleksander Barkov, who has been sidelined with a lower body injury. Florida also has been without Patric Hornqvist, who is expected to miss a week due to an undisclosed injury.
Florida is two points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Central Division.