Stars are literally colliding in Vegas right now.
The check took place late in the second period, with the Golden Knights leading by a lopsided score of 4-0. Eichel was skating the puck out of his zone when he noticed Tkachuk barreling towards him, preparing a huge open ice collision. As Eichel braced for contact, Tkachuk landed a crushing hit with his shoulder, catching his opponent in the chest and shoulder area.
As you can see from the video of the hit, Eichel left for the dressing room right away, appearing to favour his right arm.
Jack Eichel heads to the dressing room following this hit from Matthew Tkachuk. pic.twitter.com/yK2lVWZTCE
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 6, 2023
Fortunately for Vegas, their star forward was seen on the bench to begin the third period.
Remarkably, Eichel set up Jonathan Marchessault to bring the scored to 5-1 during his first shift back.
Time will tell if the 26-year-old ends up with an injury of any kind. Again, immediate updates are pending. That said, sometimes instant returns can be misleading. A player might come back to action, only to realize that they’ve suffered a more serious injury than expected. For one example, consider that Colorado Avalanche veteran Andrew Cogliano played through the third period of a game before being shut down for the postseason with a fractured neck.
With two assists in Game 2, Eichel has 22 points in 19 playoff games, doing just about everything other than scoring goals lately (six overall, none since Game 5 against the Oilers on May 12).
Deserved or not, Tkachuk received misconduct and roughing penalties for the hit and the ensuing scuffles. Tkachuk would go on to score a goal in the third period before receiving his second misconduct of the game — and third of the series — after earning a 10-minute penalty at the end of Game 1.
Barbashev with a hit on Gudas.
Gudas went down the tunnel and has yet to return. pic.twitter.com/mQC2oHltQ7
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) June 6, 2023
Gudas left the game and has since been ruled out of the contest.