DALLAS (AP) — When the pounding of their sticks on the boards didn't get the attention of the officials, Dallas Stars players jumped off the bench and onto the ice while the game was going on.
Teammate Rich Peverley had collapsed, and Stars coach Lindy Ruff was among those trying frantically to carry him into a nearby tunnel.
After the game stopped and the chaotic scene played out, the 31-year-old Peverley was stabilized, transported to a hospital and in good condition Monday night.
But for several anxious minutes on the ice, the Stars stood in stunned silence, clearly in distress, unsure what had happened to a player just six months removed from undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
"When he dropped, it was red alert," Ruff said after the game between Dallas and Columbus was postponed with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0 in the first period. "Don't worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors. The players don't want to play, and I don't want to coach the team right now."
Stars forward Erik Cole tried to rush into the tunnel just after Peverley was carried through, only to be turned away. He then gnawed at the thumb on one of his gloves while he waited for word on what the players would do next.
Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.
"I was scared," Ruff said.
Play was halted at 6:23, and the postponement was announced about 30 minutes later.
Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Hospitals said Peverley was treated "successfully" for a cardiac event at American Airlines Center.
"We provided oxygen for him," Salazar said. "We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring.
"As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness. He was able to tell me where he was."
Many in the hushed crowd lingered long after the postponement was announced "as a result of the emotional state of the players on both teams caused by the medical emergency." The NHL didn't say when the game would be rescheduled.