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A wild first period between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Air Canada Centre saw the visitors take a 3-2 lead into the dressing room after the first period. The opening frame, however, ended with 4.1 seconds remaining after Paul Ranger was injured and take off the ice on a stretcher after a hit from behind by Alex Killorn.
Killorn was given a five-minute major and game misconduct. No update was available on Ranger's condition. The team's played the final 4.1 seconds then immediately began the second period after the intermission.
Now comes the question whether or not the Department of Player Safety will come calling with supplemental discipline for the Lightning forward.
We'd lean toward no. As terrible as it is to see Ranger leave the game on a stretcher, the DoPS has stated numerous times (as does the boarding rule) that while there's the responsibility of the hitter to minimize contact along the boards, it's also up to the hittee to not turn his body and put himself in a vulnerable position. Ranger does that here.
As the two players go to chase the puck in the corner, Rangers looks back at the clock and also notices Killorn in pursuit. In an effort to kill the remaining few seconds in the period, he turns his body quickly to protect the puck along the boards. Killorn doesn't stray from his line and hits him.
The five and a game is probably enough for Killorn.
UPDATE: Here's the update from Leafs PR:
Paul Ranger was taken to local hospital for precautionary assessment this evening during tonight's game. He is stable, conscious and alert.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 20, 2014
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