Florida Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad taken off ice after apparent knee injury

Mar 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; A view of the Florida Panthers bench and head coach Joel Norman Quenneville while medical staff attends to the injury of Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (not pictured) during the second period against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers suffered a major loss Sunday when top-pairing defenseman Aaron Ekblad was injured in the second period and left the game during his club’s series finale against the host Dallas Stars.

The No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft, Ekblad fell after being tangled up near the end boards with Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell in the Florida offensive zone at 8:58 of the frame.

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After about 10 minutes in a quiet American Airlines Arena, the seven-year veteran defenseman, who was writhing and clutching his left knee immediately following the incident, was stretchered off the ice.

In the middle of a strong season, the 25-year-old Ekblad has 11 goals — six on the power play — and 11 assists, including Saturday’s game-winner in overtime 4-3 against Dallas.

–Field Level Media