Andrei Kuzmenko took a puck to the face Wednesday night and remained out of the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames in order to undergo medical assessments.
The Canucks winger took a deflected shot by J.T. Miller to the face late in Wednesday’s game at Rogers Arena, a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Islanders.
The puck appeared to hit Kuzmenko square in the chin and he immediately crashed to the ice.
After writhing in pain and receiving attention from Canucks athletic therapist Roman Kaszcizj, he left the ice under his own steam.
Kuzmenko didn’t speak after the game but both Miller and head coach Rick Tocchet said they thought he would be fine. Tocchet said that Kuzmenko would be assessed by the medical staff and perhaps need to make a hospital visit.
These post-game assessments meant that he wasn’t able to join his team on the flight to Calgary. The Canucks confirmed to Postmedia he was held back in Vancouver for precautionary reasons.
Kuzmenko himself took to Instagram to post that he was doing OK.
With Pius Suter also out with an undisclosed injury, Linus Karlsson was called up to make his NHL debut.
Karlsson, who was picked up in a 2019 trade from the San Jose Sharks, signed with the Canucks in 2022 and scored 25 goals for the Abbotsford Canucks in 2022-23.
He skated on a line Thursday with Nils Hoglander and Sam Lafferty.
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