|Jackets-Stars called off when Peverley falls ill|
|Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:00 AM|
By SCHUYLER DIXON
DALLAS — When the pounding of their sticks on the boards didn't get the attention of the officials, Dallas Stars players jumped off the bench and onto the ice while the game was going on.
Their teammate, Rich Peverley, had collapsed and Stars coach Lindy Ruff was among those trying frantically to carry him into a nearby tunnel.
After the game stopped and the chaotic scene played out, Peverley was stabilized, transported to a hospital and in good condition Monday night.
But for several anxious minutes on the ice, the Stars stood in stunned silence, clearly in distress, unsure what had happened to a player just six months removed from undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
"When he dropped, it was red alert," Ruff explained after the game between Dallas and Columbus was postponed with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0 in the first period. "Don't worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors. The players don't want to play and I don't want to coach the team right now."
Stars forward Erik Cole tried to rush into the tunnel just after Peverley was carried through, only to be turned away. He then gnawed at the thumb on one of his gloves while he waited for word on what the players would do next.
Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.
"I was scared," Ruff added.
Play was halted at 6:23 and the postponement was announced about 30 minutes later.
Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Hospitals reported Peverley was treated "successfully" for a cardiac event at American Airlines Center.
"We provided oxygen for him," Salazar explained. "We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring.
"As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness. He was able to tell me where he was."
Many in the hushed crowd lingered long after the postponement was announced "as a result of the emotional state of the players on both teams caused by the medical emergency." The NHL didn't announce when the game would be rescheduled.
Peverley's wife, Nathalie, accompanied him to a hospital and the Stars essentially told the Blue Jackets they weren't up for finishing the game.
"They're shaken and they want to reschedule. We understand that," John Davidson, the Blue Jackets' president of hockey operations, told Fox Sports Ohio. "They were shaken to the core."
Peverley missed the preseason and the season opener because of a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, a condition diagnosed during a training camp physical. He made his Stars debut on Oct. 5 against Washington.
"We monitor him closely for a different type of arrhythmia he has," Salazar said. "He does have a pre-existing condition and the condition — a normal quivering of the heart that does not allow him to send blood to places where he needs to, in his brain and heart."
Peverley sat out last week's game at Columbus because of an irregular heartbeat. He had felt strange after last Monday's game and couldn't fly. He played in Dallas' next two games before Monday.
"There wasn't any concern," Ruff said. "Our doctors have done a fabulous job monitoring the situation."
In 62 games this season before Monday, Peverley had seven goals and 23 assists.
He was acquired last July from Boston with forward Tyler Seguin and defenseman Ryan Button for forwards Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser and defenseman Joe Morrow.
The Stars went to the airport after the postponement and even had a scheduled departure for St. Louis that was earlier than it would have been if the game was played. Dallas is scheduled to play the Blues tonight.
"He's going to be OK," Ruff added. "The care he's getting and the care going forward is the most important thing."
PENGUINS 3, CAPITALS 2
WASHINGTON — Sidney Crosby had a hand in both early goals as Pittsburgh converted on two of its first three shots Monday night, Chris Kunitz scored twice and the Penguins beat Alex Ovechkin's struggling Washington Capitals 3-2.
Crosby finished with his 30th goal and two assists to raise his NHL-leading point total to 87, matching his uniform number. The Penguins beat Washington for the seventh consecutive time and overtook idle Boston for the Eastern Conference's best record.
The Capitals, who began the day outside of the playoff picture in 10th place in the East, have lost four of their past five games.
The teams play each other again TOday at Pittsburgh.
Monday's game featured the largely uneventful NHL debut of a player Capitals' general manager George McPhee likened to the Loch Ness Monster — "We've heard of you but we haven't seen you" — Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov. The 6-3, 200-pound winger was a first-round draft pick in 2010 but has been playing in Russia until now.
PREDATORS 4, SENATORS 3, OT
OTTAWA, Ontario — Seth Jones scored at 3:49 of overtime and Nashville defeated Ottawa.
Ryan Ellis broke in alone on goaltender Robin Lehner and Jones was there to bang home the loose puck.
The win allowed the Predators to snap a 4-game losing streak.
Nick Spaling, Craig Smith and Eric Nystrom also scored for Nashville.
Jared Cowen, Marc Methot and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators.
Craig Anderson allowed three goals on 29 shots before leaving the game early in the third. Lehner faced 13 shots in relief.
COYOTES 4, LIGHTNING 3, SO
TAMPA, Fla. — Radim Vrbata scored the lone shootout goal to lead Phoenix past Tampa Bay.
Vrbata beat Ben Bishop with a backhand. Mike Smith stopped all three Lightning shootout shots.
Ondrej Palat got the Lightning even at 3-all on his second goal of the game, coming from the low slot with the Tampa Bay net empty and 37.2 seconds left in regulation. Palat also had an assist.
Brandon McMillan, Martin Erat and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who trailed eighth-place Dallas by one point in the Western Conference.
Tampa Bay, 1-4-2 since the Olympic break ended, also got a goal from Tyler Johnson.