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Maple Leafs captain John Tavares released from hospital, out of playoffs indefinitely after scary stretcher incident

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Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares is out of the hospital and out of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs indefinitely after being taken off the ice on a stretcher Thursday night.

Tavares fell awkwardly after a collision with Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot, and Canadiens forward Corey Perry tried to avoid him but caught him in the head with his knee.

Tavares tried getting up, but trainers had him lie down and called for a stretcher. He gave a thumbs up on the way off the ice.

Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday that Tavares suffered a concussion on the play.

"He was kept overnight for observation and is now resting at home under the care and supervision of team physicians," the Maple Leafs said in a statement. "Tavares will be out indefinitely."

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Tavares put out his own statement Friday, thanking well-wishers and medical professionals.

"I look forward to when I can wear the Maple Leaf on my chest again," he tweeted. "Until then, I'll be cheering on the boys along with Leafs Nation as we compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs."

The Canadiens won 2-1 in Game 1, and the Maple Leafs will try to even the series at home on Saturday.

"Everybody's thinking about John right now," teammate Alexander Kerfoot told reporters Friday. "Everyone's been in communication with him and from all accounts, he's doing well. We're happy with that. We've got to focus on winning hockey games here and obviously, it's a big boost knowing that he's doing well."

Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares is taken off of the ice on a stretcher after a collision with Montreal Canadiens forward Corey Perry.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares is taken off of the ice on a stretcher after a collision with Montreal Canadiens forward Corey Perry.

Forward Auston Matthews said Tavares, the team's No. 3 scorer with 50 points, had texted players from the hospital Thursday night.

"All of us are going to have to step up in replacing him," Matthews said. "It's hard to replace a guy like him. He's our captain and our leader, and he's a guy who comes to the rink everyday and competes and works for everybody."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Maple Leafs' John Tavares out of playoffs indefinitely with concussion