VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A miserable season for the Vancouver Canucks ended with a scary incident.
Daniel Sedin scored twice before leaving the game on a stretcher after taking a hit from behind as the Canucks wrapped up a disastrous 2013-14 campaign with a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.
The result of a game that meant very little was overshadowed by the nasty incident late in the second period when Sedin was checked in the numbers by Calgary's Paul Byron and stayed flat on his back. The Canucks confirmed that Sedin, who was moving his fingers immediately after the hit, was taken to a hospital as a precaution and later released.
"I believe he's OK. He did go to the hospital, precautionary, and the last report I got is he is OK," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "You are concerned about the guy. I'm glad he's OK. When I saw him first go down, it scared me a little bit. That's the most important thing, it's not about the damn game, it's about the kid, but we've gotten really good reports."
Henrik Sedin said he knew something was wrong as soon as his twin brother went down.
"He's not a guy that stays down or acts hurt," the Canucks' captain said. "Especially when you see him lay still and he's just moving his fingers — then I know he's concerned so that was when I started feeling worried."
Byron, who was assessed a major for boarding and a game misconduct, said there was no intent to injure on his part.
"I just saw the puck in the corner. I was trying to finish my check. I saw the replay again. I didn't think it was a dirty hit," said Byron, who had just 12 penalty minutes coming in. "It wasn't my intention. I just hope he's OK.
"The game is so fast. You have split seconds to make decisions. When you see a guy laying on the ice it's really scary. You never want to see that."
Flames coach Bob Hartley had no problem with Byron's hit.
"In the last game of the season you don't want anyone injured," Hartley said. "We all feel it was a hockey play that you see maybe 10 or 15 times a game. Whether he fell awkward in the boards or something like this. Hopefully he is all right."
As for the game itself, Frank Corrado got his first NHL goal, and Ryan Kesler and Yannick Weber also scored for Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves for his first victory with the Canucks.
Henrik Sedin added two assists for Vancouver, which missed the playoffs for the first time in six years.
"It's better than getting blown out at home," Kesler said. "I thought we played hard for the guys in the room and finished on a high note."