Red Wings' Larkin knocked unconscious after cross-check from behind

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was unconscious face-down on he ice for about a minute after being cross-checked in the back of the head and neck by Ottawa’s Mathieu Joseph on Saturday night.

Larkin lay motionless on the ice as a stretcher was quickly wheeled onto the ice. Larkin was eventually able to stand up after regaining conciousness, but was hunched over as he was assisted to the locker room.

The Red Wings released a statement midway through the 5-1 loss that Larkin was being evaluated by the medical staff. Coach Derek Lalonde didn't have a further update afterward.

“It was tough,” Lalonde said. “It went from a really, realy scary moment and then for him to become conscious and not have to go out on the stretcher, that was a big lift for everyone.”

Standing near the Ottawa goal during a first-period power play, Larkin took the hit from Joseph and was pushed into the Senators' Parker Kelly, who also hit Larkin as the Detroit player fell.

Joseph and Kelly were assessed roughing penalties on the play with 6:10 left in the period. Detroit’s David Perron was given a match penalty for intent to injure for cross-checking Artem Zub as the Ottawa defenseman stood next to the prone Larkin.

“Just a tough sight to see, obviously,” said Detroit center Christian Fischer, who fought Joseph in the third period. “Never want to see anybody down, especially the leader of your team. It’s a tough one to kind of regroup from.”

The Senators scored three second-period goals in a 5-1 victory.

“I was laying on the ground and didn’t know what was going on,” Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo said. “I finally saw him motionless and you never want to see anyone in that position. It was pretty scary. I hope he’s good.”

Larkin and Joseph were involved in another incident on Oct. 14, 2021, when Joseph played for Tampa Bay. Joseph cross-checked Larkin, who retaliated with a punch. Larkin was suspended for one game.

Larkin suffered a season-ending neck injury April 20, 2021, when he was cross-checked from behind by Dallas' Jamie Benn. Larkin had to wear a cervicle hard collar for eight weeks while recovering from the injury.