Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski is questionable for Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after hitting his head on the ice following a massive hit by Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba during Monday night’s opener.
Head coach Pete DeBoer told reporters after the game that the veteran forward was “OK” and was walking on his own, but added that he was unsure of his status for Game 2 on Wednesday night.
“I haven’t really looked at the hit in depth. Joe’s OK. Obviously, he’s banged up – hit his head on the ice when he fell.”
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DeBoer later added, “No, no I’m not confident for Game 2. He’s OK. He’s walking out of the rink on his own OK.”
The incident happened halfway through the second period with the Stars leading 2-1. Pavelski, 38, fired off a shot on net and was immediately met with a high shoulder from Dumba.
He laid on the ground as a massive brawl broke out.
Pavelski appeared unstable as he was helped off the ice. Dumba was initially assessed a five-minute major penalty before officials reviewed the play and downgraded it to a two-minute minor.
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“To be honest, I thought it was a clean hit,” Dumba said after the game. “I figured (the refs) were going to see the same. Shoulder on shoulder. I don’t even know why I got the roughing, probably because I was just in the box already.”
DeBoer said he had not yet reviewed the hit but deferred to the officials ruling.
“We have the best officials in the world. They called a five, they reviewed it, which is the right thing to do. If they reviewed and decided it wasn’t a bad hit then, you know, I guess it’s not for me to argue with that.”
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He continued, “They got to look at it at multiple different angles and that was the decision they made, so we’ve got to live with that.”
Ryan Hartman scored 12:20 into the second overtime to give the Wild a 3-2 victory in Game 1. Minnesota will play another game in Dallas before taking on the Stars at home in Game 3 on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.