RALEIGH — In the aftermath of the Washington Capitals' 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center Monday night, both teams are concerned for the health of key players but neither shed much light on the severity of the injuries.
The Caps' Alex Ovechkin left the game with a knee injury, though he was also given a game misconduct at that point and would have had to leave the game regardless.
Ovechkin took out Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason below the knees and both players appeared injured and laid on the ice for several minutes.
Gleason returned before a five-minute kneeing penalty also given to Ovechkin expired but needed help into the locker room before returning.
"This guy is as meat and potatoes as there is of a man," Maurice said. "If he can play, I don't imagine he is going to be moving too quick tomorrow, but he also knew that Joe (Corvo) was down and we can't go to four defenseman at that point in the game. So he mustered what he could and gave what he had."
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau shed little light on Ovechkin's injury, saying the team would know more in the morning.
"He's stiff right now," Boudreau said, not sure if Ovechkin will have to miss any time.
He defended Ovechkin, and said he didn't think Ovechkin deserved to be ejected or, going forward, suspended by the league.
"Alex is trying to hit him," Boudreau said. "Gleason makes a pretty good move to the inside, and as he's moving, his leg comes out and he hits him."
Asked if Ovechkin stuck his stick out, Boudreau said, "It looked like he leaned with his shoulder."
Ovechkin has know been given two game misconducts in the last three games.
"I think if Gleason would have got up, I think it would have been a two-minute penalty," Boudreau said.
Maurice was reserved regarding Ovechkin.
"Regardless of how you want to define the play, it's dangerous for both players," Maurice said.
Maurice was more concerned about Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo, who had to be taken to the hospital, after suffering an apparent cut to his lower right leg by the skate of defenseman Karl Alzner during a collision along the boards.
The injury came less than a minute after Corvo put the Canes up 1-0 with a power play goal.
Maurice said he didn't know how serious the injury was but called it significant.
"He went to the hospital, he is stable, he is fine, he is going to be OK," Maurice said. "The extent of the injury we won't know until a doctor gets in there and looks at it and finds out exactly how deep it is and what it caught, but he was in some pain on the ice, and he is fine now."
Boudreau, who coached Corvo in the AHL's Manchester Monarchs, said he was concerned for Corvo.
"It looked like he hurt his leg pretty bad," Boudreau said. "I coached him for four years, so I'm a little bit concerned about him."