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Lightning defenseman Sergachev leaves ice on stretcher with leg injury

NEW YORK — Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev had to leave the ice on a stretcher after his left leg bent at an awkward angle seven minutes into the second period of the Lightning’s game against the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old defenseman grabbed his left knee as he went down along the boards in the Lightning end of the ice. Sergachev became tangled with Rangers forward Alexei Lafreniere after Lafreniere attempted a reverse hit on the approaching Tampa Bay player. Sergachev’s left skate seemed to stick in the ice as his knee twisted at an unnatural angle.

The entire Lightning team left the bench to gather around their injured defenseman. Players from both teams also went over to Sergachev as he left the ice on a rolling stretcher. Sergachev appeared be in tears as he held his jersey close to his face while sitting on the stretcher. He gave a thumbs up to the Madison Square Garden crowd.

The Lightning declared Sergachev out for the game with a lower body injury before the second period concluded.

Sergachev had returned Wednesday after missing the previous 17 games with a leg injury suffered in December. The Russian defenseman is in his seventh season with the Lightning. He has played 475 career games, including four with the Montreal Canadiens, who selected him ninth overall in the 2016 NHL draft.



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