We reported last night that the Montreal Canadiens had lost their captain Max Pacioretty for an undetermined period of time, because of a lower-body injury he suffered in a 6-3 win against John Tavares and the New York Islanders.
Even though the Habs have not confirmed the nature of his injury, many reporters suggested he hurt his left leg.
Now the team has officially confirmed on its official Twitter account just minutes ago that the 29-year-old forward will have to be sent back to Montreal for evaluation by the team's doctors:
This announcement comes as a surprise to many people today, mostly because even though Pacioretty got hurt during the second period, he came back on the ice at the beginning of the third for a quick shift. He then left for the locker room under his own power, which suggested the injury wasn't a major one.
However, it looks like the star forward will miss at least five games, as the Canadiens' next game at the Bell Center is scheduled on March 13, against the Dallas Stars.
Before then, the Habs will face the Boston Bruins tonight, as well as the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. The team will then travel to Florida to play against the Panthers on March 8, and the Tampa Bay Lightning two days later. The Canadiens will face the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 12 before returning home in Montreal.
In 64 games this season, Pacioretty scored 17 goals and added 20 assists for 37 points.
Victor Mete is also headed back to Montreal
The Canadiens also reported that 19-year-old blueliner Victor Mete had been sent back to Montreal for evaluation over the next few days. This has to be considered a major red flag for fans of the talented young player, who suffered a hand injury during the first period.
The news of his absence is especially troubling for him, considering Habs' head coach Claude Julien has openly said he wanted to give more ice time to his young players until the end of the season.
Victor Mete has yet to score his first career NHL goal after 49 games this year, but still amassed seven assists.