Everyone at TD Garden on Saturday night got a reminder of the danger present within every game of hockey.
Just over three minutes into first period action between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins, Senators forward Scott Sabourin hit Bruins forward David Backes. Their heads collided as a result and it appeared Sabourin was knocked out due to the impact. Unable to brace himself as he fell, his head made direct contact with the ice.
Really scary scene in Boston as Scott Sabourin appears to lose consciousness after colliding with David Backes pic.twitter.com/fwzS2Bv9r1
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 2, 2019
The sequence of events left many fans and players shaken up, perhaps none more so than Backes. After a delay of over 11 minutes, Sabourin was taken off on a stretcher and gave the crowd a thumbs up.
Both teams left their respective benches to be on the ice with him while he left the game.
According to Greg Millen of Hockey Night in Canada, Sabourin is responsive and has movement in his extremities. He was conscious and speaking with doctors before being transported to a local hospital by ambulance, per the Senators’ communications department.
On Sunday morning, Sabourin posted the following photo to Instagram.
Some good news! Scott Sabourin posted on his Instagram this morning a thank you for all the well wishes and that he hopes to be back on the ice.
Don’t look at the photo if you don’t like stitches and blood etc. pic.twitter.com/jgs2upB9lY
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) November 3, 2019
“You don’t want to see anyone, either team, lying motionless like that on the ice and certainly our players were emotional, and so were their guys,” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said to reporters following Ottawa’s 5-2 loss. “It’s just an unfortunate situation.
“I don’t know the exact injury (but) they’re going to keep him overnight... We’ll know more tomorrow.”
“It was pretty emotional for all of us,” said Ottawa defenceman Mark Borowiecki, according to NHL.com. “That was one of the first ones, I think for me personally, I've ever been a little choked up. I love that guy. We all love him in here. He's a team-first guy, would do anything for anyone, and to see him down there like that, we were all pretty shook up.
“I was scared. It was hard to see, for sure, someone you care about.”
Currently in his 14th season, Backes went to the dressing room after Sabourin was removed from the ice and did not return for the rest of the period. The team later announced his night was over due to an upper-body injury.
Sabourin has been one of hockey’s best feel-good stories this season. After many years in the AHL, the 27-year-old earned his spot on the Senators following an impressive training camp. He had a goal and assist in his opening 10 games of the season, the first NHL contests of his career.
More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports