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NHL playoffs: Maple Leafs' John Tavares out indefinitely with head injury

NHL playoffs: Maple Leafs' John Tavares out indefinitely with head injury
Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares took a knee to the face in the first period of Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday in Toronto. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

May 21 (UPI) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without captain John Tavares indefinitely through the playoffs because of a head injury the center sustained in Game 1 of a series against the Montreal Canadiens, the team said Friday.

Tavares went down with the injury in the first period of the Maple Leafs' 2-1 loss Thursday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Maple Leafs said Tavares was discharged Friday morning from nearby St. Michael's Hospital.

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Canadiens forward Corey Perry accidentally hit Tavares in the head with his knee during the sequence. Tavares was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to the hospital, where he spent the night.

"He was thoroughly examined and assessed by the neurosurgical team at St. Michael's Hospital and the club's medical director," the Maples Leafs said in a statement.

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"He was kept overnight for observation and is now resting at home under the care and supervision of team physicians."

Tavares, 30, is in his 12th NHL season. The 2014-15 All-Star recorded 19 goals and 31 assists in 56 regular-season games in 2020-21. Tavares played just three minutes in Thursday's loss.

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"He fell and I tried to jump over him and unfortunately I caught my knee on his head," Perry told reporters Thursday. "I don't know what else to do there.

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"I know Johnny pretty well. I just hope he is OK."

The Maple Leafs host the Canadiens in Game 2 of the first-round series at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday at Scotiabank Arena. The winner of the best-of-seven series faces the Edmonton Oilers or Winnipeg Jets in the second round.

"Our players were rattled and concerned," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters Thursday. "I was obviously very concerned as well. Happy to hear that things are settling down and all of that, but it was a very tough moment."

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