PHILADELPHIA (AP) — New Jersey Devils defensemen Anssi Salmela said he had a headache, but was otherwise OK after being taken off the ice on a stretcher following a scary hit to the face from the Philadelphia Flyers' Jeff Carter.
As he scored a short-handed goal that gave the Devils a 2-0 lead in the second period Monday night, Salmela was struck hard by Carter's right shoulder as he skated by. Salmela tumbled to the ice and remained face down for several minutes, until the Devils' medical staff lifted him onto a stretcher.
At the end of the second period, Salmela was seen walking and talking.
"I didn't see it coming," he said, adding that he lost consciousness for a few moments. "It's no big deal. It's just hockey. I'm getting better now. Just a bit of a headache, but I think everything else is good."
The 25-year-old Salmela arrived in last week's trade with Atlanta that brought Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey, and was playing in his second game with his new team. The goal was his first with the Devils and second this season.