Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty’s noncontact injury ‘doesn’t look good’

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Thursday the noncontact injury sustained by winger Max Pacioretty “doesn’t look good.”

Pacioretty’s health became a concern within the last minute of the Hurricanes’ 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at PNC Arena. Nobody was near Pacioretty as he was looking to pass the puck while next to the Wild net. He took a few strides, made a quick cut and his right leg immediately went into the air before Pacioretty fell to the ice.

He remained on the ice with his right leg up in the air. Play was stopped with 19.3 seconds remaining in the game. The Hurricanes’ athletic training staff came onto the ice to assist Pacioretty as he was surrounded by a few teammates.

Pacioretty, who did not put any weight on his right leg and foot, was then escorted by his teammates back to the Hurricanes bench.

“It doesn’t look good. We don’t know, but it doesn’t look good,” Brind’Amour said after the game. “It’s kind of hard to say. We know what kind of player he is, we got a glimpse of it, that was exciting and he’s the kind of player that we need — a guy who can put the puck in the net. But obviously, hopefully, it’s not as bad as you think, but I’m not too optimistic right now.”

Getting Pacioretty, a six-time 30-goal scorer, in an offseason trade with the Vegas Golden Knights was a move that was going to strengthen the Hurricanes by giving them a top-six winger. Those plans were altered when the team announced in August that Pacioretty would be out for six months to repair a torn Achilles.

Pacioretty made his debut Jan. 5 and scored his first two goals of the season in a 4-3 shutout loss Jan. 7 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Including the game against the Wild, Pacioretty had three goals in five games.

The 34-year-old winger logged 16:38 with three shots against the Wild before leaving the game.

“Listen, we’re going to have to come out, pick up the pieces and move on,” Brind’Amour said. “That’s just the nature of the game. Right now, it’s tough to be too happy about a win when you know what is more than likely happening here.”

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