Los Angeles (AFP) - Forward Andrei Svechnikov is expected to miss the next game in the Carolina Hurricanes' playoff series with the Washington Capitals after entering the concussion protocol following a fight with Alex Ovechkin, team officials said Tuesday.
Teenage rookie Svechnikov appeared to be knocked out after being punched by Caps star Ovechkin as the two Russians faced off in Carolina's 5-0 victory over Washington in game three on Monday.
Svechnikov needed to be helped off the ice by his team-mates following the brawl in the first period and was later examined in hospital after going through the concussion protocol.
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said Tuesday he had spoken to Svechnikov following the incident.
"It was good to see him," Brind'Amour said. "He did go to the hospital and everything was checked out there. He looks normal and he feels great so that's a real positive sign."
However Brind'Amour said he expected Svechnikov to be unavailable for Thursday's game four.
"We're going to be real careful," Brind'Amour said. "We're always careful. This year, we've dealt with concussions with I don't know how many guys and when they were ready to come back, we waited weeks after.
"So we're certainly not going to rush him back."
Svechnikov is one of the brightest young talents in ice hockey, having been chosen with the number two pick in the 2018 draft. He has two goals and one assist in the first three games of his Stanley Cup career.
The 33-year-old Ovechkin, who is reportedly around 40 pounds heavier than Svechnikov -- the youngest player in the NHL -- said after Monday's brawl he hoped his compatriot was not seriously injured.
"First of all, I hope he's OK," Ovechkin said. "I'm not a big fighter, and he's the same. He asked me to fight and said, 'Let's go.' I hope he's OK. You don't want to see a guy get hurt or something. And you just go a different way."
Washington, the defending Stanley Cup champions, lead the series 2-1.