Hurricanes’ Pacioretty suffers apparent lower-body injury against Wild

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Carolina Hurricanes forward Max Pacioretty exited Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild late in the third period with an apparent lower-body injury.

The winger went down with 19.3 seconds left in the 5-2 win against the Wild on a non-contact injury. Pacioretty was skating with the puck near the goal and the boards when he pulled up and grabbed at the back of his lower right leg.

Pacioretty left Carolina’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 12 with a lower-body injury that was, according to the team, not related to his previous Achilles injury. He remained out of the lineup until Thursday.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour shared his initial thoughts on the injury following the contest.

“It doesn’t look good. I mean, we don’t know, but it doesn’t look good,” said Brind’Amour. “Hopefully it’s not as bad as we think, but I’m not too optimistic right now.”

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Acquired from Vegas in a July trade, Pacioretty had to be helped to the locker room while putting no weight on that leg — the same that required surgery for a torn Achilles tendon over the summer.

“We know what kind of player he is,” Brind’Amour said. “We got a glimpse of it and that was exciting. It’s the kind of player that we needed, a guy who could put the puck in the net.”

The 34-year-old made his season and Hurricanes debut on Jan. 5 against the Nashville Predators and came out of the gates hot, scoring three goals in his first four games.

-With files from the Associated Press

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