Left-winger Nick Foligno was seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 loss in Los Angeles when he was checked by Jeff Carter in front of the Kings bench and rammed into the elbow of linesman Shane Heyer, who had jumped on top of the dasher to avoid both players.
Foligno was taken off the ice at Staples Center on a stretcher with 11:34 left in the third period.
The Blue Jackets tweeted that Foligno was conscious and talking with the Kings medical staff.
"You're more concerned about your teammate and the person than you are about the game. The game obviously becomes secondary," coach Todd Richards said. "My understanding is that he's alert, and he'll be travelling back with us."
Teammate Ryan Murray added: "We know it's serious when he does stay down, and we were all worried about him and praying for the beat."
Columbus, which saw its record drop to 4-4-0 on the young season Sunday, is presently without forwards Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery), Boone Jenner (broken hand) and Nathan Horton, whose career appears in jeopardy after he was diagnosed this week with degeneration in the entire lumbar region of his spine.
Defenceman Murray made his season debut on Sunday after recovering from off-season knee surgery.
Foligno is off to a strong start offensively this season with three goals and nine points in eight games. The Buffalo native’s most productive of his seven NHL seasons was in 2011-12 when he had 15 goals and 47 points in 82 games with the Ottawa Senators.
The 2006 first-round pick has been quite durable, having only missed 15 games in the previous four seasons.
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