Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack, injured in a frightening play at the end of the Canes’ 4-3 overtime loss to Detroit on Monday night, tweeted to fans that he was OK about midnight from UNC Rex Hospital.
There had been no statement from the team about Lack’s condition as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, although the Hurricanes’ Twitter account did retweet Lack’s message from the hospital.
Lack’s tweet drew hundreds of relieved replies from hockey fans throughout North America. Scores of them played on Lack’s role as a pitch man for a Raleigh taco and tequila restaurant.
Fans and players from both teams had watched silently for several minutes Monday night at PNC Arena after Lack, nearly motionless after being hit by the Red Wings’ Andreas Athanasiou as Athanasiou scored the winning goal, was treated on the ice at the goalie crease.
Lack was removed from the ice on a stretcher and taken to Rex, where he relayed the good news by Twitter about an hour and a half later.
Except for a brief celebration by Red Wings fans after the winning play was reviewed and the goal was ruled good, the arena fell nearly silent for several minutes after the play. Fans stayed to watch as Lack was treated, and players gathered around as the Canes training staff and EMS personnel knelt by the Hurricanes goalie.
Fans broke the tension by chanting “Eddie!” at one point, and they cheered when he gave a brief thumbs-up as he was wheeled off the ice.
“I never like to see someone go down like that and on a stretcher. I hope he’s OK, and he gets back,” said Athanasiou, who was hit from behind by the Canes’ Victor Rask as he drove the net and scored 1:59 into overtime. Athanasiou’s right side hit Lack in the head.
Staff writer Chip Alexander contributed to this report.
Frederick: 919-829-8956. On Twitter: @Eric_Frederick