Josh Gorges on breaking Jordan Staal’s leg: ‘I heard him scream’

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges is as competitive as they come, but the last thing he wanted to hear was an opponent screaming in agony on Tuesday night.

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In the third period of their exhibition game, a collision between Gorges and Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes resulted in Staal breaking the lower portion of his right leg. The center returned to Raleigh to meet with team doctors, and the team said there’s no timetable for what’s expected to be a lengthy recovery.

Gorges spoke with Bill Hoppe about the incident, and his immediate concerns about Staal:

“The puck got moved up to him,” he said. “I stepped in front of him to try to separate him from the play. We got kind of tangled up. He tried to grab around me to switch positions. Next thing I know, he falls. He must’ve gotten tangled up, and I went right over top of him.

“It was one of those plays, where as soon as I landed on him, I heard him scream. I knew right away something must’ve hurt him. I mean, he’s a pretty tough guy. A guy like that doesn’t lay on the ice for nothing. I knew something was wrong right away. I was kind of on his back side. The ref came to me and told me it looked pretty ugly. It’s kind of one of those scary plays.”

It was the first game of the preseason for both players.

Staal hasn’t missed a game in two seasons, and only 63 in his 8-year NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Hurricanes.