Puck Daddy

Martin Erat boarded by Panthers’ Gudbranson, leaves game with injury (Video)

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

The Washington Capitals paid a high price for Martin Erat, trading away one of their top prospects in Filip Forsberg. But the club has clawed its way back into the playoff picture, and Erat is expected to make them even more offensively lethal heading into the postseason. If he can help them make a deep run, the move might be worth it.

But to help, Erat needs to be healthy. The winger left Saturday's game with the Florida Panthers -- -- just his second in a Caps uniform -- after being boarded by Erik Gudbranson on a hit that the Department of Player Safety will definitely review:

Gudbranson received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, and that may not be all he faces. That was a nasty hit from behind and he'll be fortunate to play in the Panthers' next game. You can't drive through a guy like that when you see nothing but the numbers.

But the Capitals likely aren't all that worried about Gudbranson, not when Erat had to be helped of the ice in visible pain. With the awkward way his legs were splayed going into the boards, he'll be as fortunate to play the next game as Gudbranson.

George McPhee has already faced plenty of criticism for the Erat trade. No one could have predicted this, but if Erat is unavailable for the postseason, that criticism will be even worse.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Sputtering Sharks meet porous Ducks

      A team with a sputtering offense meets an opponent with a porous defense when the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks clash Friday night at the Honda Center. The Sharks, Stanley Cup finalists last season, are near the bottom of the NHL in goals … More »

      AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
    • Hayes' late power-play goal lifts Rangers past Jets, 2-1

      Hayes' late power-play goal lifts Rangers past Jets, 2-1

      Kevin Hayes was at the right place at the right time. Hayes scored a power-play goal with 1:09 left in the third period to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Jets forward Drew Stafford was in the … More »

      AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
    • Flames extend streak to 5 with OT win

      Flames extend streak to 5 with OT win

      The Calgary Flames expected a fight from a desperate team and got one. Once they shook off a slow start, the Flames fought back and Dougie Hamilton scored a crafty overtime goal to extend their winning streak to five games. Hamilton scored 1:09 … More »

      AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
    • Kevin Hayes scores winner late on the power play as Rangers edge Jets

      Kevin Hayes scores winner late on the power play as Rangers edge Jets

      Kevin Hayes was at the right place at the right time Thursday night. The New York forward scored a ricocheting power-play goal with 1:09 left in the third period to lift the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. "I think it was a greasy … More »

      The Canadian Press - 29 minutes ago
    • Price loses cool, lifts Habs over Devils

      Price loses cool, lifts Habs over Devils

      After being run into for a second time in one period, ever-steady Canadiens goaltender Carey Price lost it. Price, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, pummeled New Jersey forward Kyle Palmieri with his blocker in the first period of … More »

      AP - Sports - 31 minutes ago