Jaccob Slavin injury update: Hurricanes defenseman exits after taking massive hit from Panthers’ Sam Bennett


The Hurricanes need a miracle just to give the Panthers a scare in the Eastern Conference Final. The road became even tougher Wednesday night.

Defenseman Jaccob Slavin took a huge hit from Panthers center Sam Bennett just over a minute into Game 4, with his head hitting the end boards and his body slamming to the ice. He was forced to leave the game.

MORE: Hurricanes, Stars looking to become latest teams in NHL playoff history to overcome 3-0 deficit

While it was a devastating hit, officials ruled it a legal one. Slavin was handling the puck and was hit in the chest by Bennett. Because he was looking down at the puck, Slavin was still blindsided by the blow. 

The Panthers emerged with a power play anyway. Carolina’s Brent Burns and Jordan Martinook were called for two-minute minor penalties (slashing and cross-checking, respectively) after a post-hit scrum. Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk was called for slashing as well.

MORE: Stars captain Jamie Benn suspended for cross-checking Golden Knights’ Mark Stone

Frustration has to be at an all-time high for the Hurricanes, who lost the first three games of the series and gave up a goal less than a minute before the hit. Slavin’s status is now an additional concern for Rod Brind’Amour’s reeling team.

Here’s what is known about Slavin’s injury after the hit from Bennett. 

Jaccob Slavin injury update

The Hurricanes announced later in the first period that Slavin had been ruled out for the rest of the game with an upper-body injury.

Slavin was wobbly immediately after the hit, and it’s no surprise Carolina was cautious after his head appeared to hit the wall as he fell to the ice. 

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The 29-year-old had six points through 14 playoff games entering Wednesday. He has been held without a point by the Panthers in the series, though that has been the case for much of the Hurricanes’ roster. Carolina scored just three goals over the first three games.

Losing Slavin, who finished ninth in Norris Trophy voting a year ago, represents a major blow to a team that sits one loss away from elimination. If the Hurricanes are able to bring the series back to Carolina, Slavin’s status would be a major storyline.

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