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Leafs salvage point, lose Winnik and Gardiner

Daniel Winnik

Daniel Winnik


The Toronto Maple Leafs concluded their mini two-game road trip with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

The loss of Daniel Winnik and Jake Gardiner were front and centre following the game.

Winnik collided with Avalanche defenceman Jan Hejda in the neutral zone and fell awkwardly on the right side of his head. He then flipped onto his front. He lay motionless on the ice while trainers from both teams secured him on a backboard and took him off the ice on a stretcher.

Considering the way it looked, things appear positive for Winnik.

“After I watched it I didn’t think it was as bad. The bad part about it was he was out of it,” Leafs coach Randy Caryle said post-game per TSN’s Mark Masters. “He did twist his neck, but the brunt of the weight of his body seemed to roll on his shoulder more so he was lucky. It’s never nice to see that, but I think he was fortunate [it wasn’t worse].

“He looks fine. He’s 100 percent fine. He says there’s nothing wrong with him.”

Masters reported that Winnik declined to be interviewed post-game.

Captain Dion Phaneuf admitted it was tough to watch.

“One of the most scary things that I’ve been a part of and watched live,” he said. “When you see the stretcher come out and he’s motionless, that’s something that definitely is not something you want to go through.”

Gardiner took a shot off his left knee late in the first period and had X-rays done at the Pepsi Center Thursday.

The defenseman reportedly suffered a bone bruise.

Phil Kessel, who picked up his seventh goal of the season, missed the first six minutes of the third period with an undisclosed injury and declined to comment when asked post-game.

Tyler Bozak and Richard Panik had the other Leafs goals and Jonathan Bernier made 28 saves in the loss.

Nick Holden, Alex Tanguay and Matt Duchene scored in regulation for the Avalanche, who snapped a three-game losing streak with the win.

Nathan MacKinnon Tanguay and Duchene all scored in the shootout for Colorado. Reto Berra made 31 saves to improve to 2-0-1 on the season.

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