Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Johnson was carried off the ice on a stretcher after sliding headfirst into the end boards early in the second period of Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Johnson was taken to a nearby hospital for further observation, though a team spokesperson said he was alert and had full movement.

"We were told in between periods that he's going to be OK," Canucks center Ryan Kesler said after the game. "You hate to see a friend and a teammate go down like that. It really puts things in perspective. It's an extremely fast game out there. We're just glad he's going to be all right."

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said Johnson had X-rays and a CT scan.

"So far I think everything looks good," Vigneault said.

Johnson was skating full speed through the neutral zone before chipping the puck into the Detroit end, and appeared to lose his balance as he tried to step around defenseman Niklas Lidstrom, falling heavily and awkwardly into the end boards.

"To see that happen, it looked bad right away," Canucks defenseman Shane O'Brien said. "It was the scariest thing that I've seen since I played. He's going to be all right which is huge for us."

Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby arrived first and immediately waived for medical help from the Canucks bench as Johnson lay on the ice. Johnson, a fourth-line center and penalty-killing specialist, tried to raise his head and moved his left arm before both the Canucks' trainer and doctor arrived. He was placed on a spinal board and lifted onto a stretcher before being taken off the ice.