Rangers, Alexis Lafreniere shaken by frightening Mikhail Sergachev injury

NHL: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t just the Tampa Bay Lightning who were shaken by the frightening injury sustained by Mikhail Sergachev at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers.

One look at Alexis Lafreniere is all you needed to know about how distraught the Rangers forward was when the Lightning defenseman was stretchered off the ice following their collision.

And listening to Rangers captain Jacob Trouba postgame, the empathy could be felt in his words.

“It’s obviously something you never want to see. I’ve seen a couple of them, I’ve been one of them once. It’s kind of a helpless feeling,” Trouba said. “The scariest part is the unknown. We’re all thinking about him.”

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Rangers shaken by Mikhail Sergachev injury at Madison Square Garden

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Trouba and Lafreniere were among the players who watched inside a quiet Garden when the stretcher was brought out to move Sergachev, who screamed in pain and was holding his left knee.

The play took place at roughly the seven-minute mark of the second period. Sergachev went to check Lafreniere along the right-wing boards and the Rangers forward applied a clean reverse hit. Sergachev’s back leg, the left one, seemed to bear the brunt of the hit and twisted awkwardly.

It wasn’t pretty.

The Lightning announced Thursday that Sergachev had successful surgery in New York to stabilize fractures in the tibia and fibula of his left leg. His recovery timeline is unknown.

“It was clear the Rangers cared for him,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “They all cleared the bench. It’s a little bit more than hockey when it comes down to things like that.”

Sergachev, the two-time Stanley Cup champion had just returned to the lineup after he was sidelined since Dec. 19 with a lower-body injury.

“You hate when that happens and it sucks when it’s part of the game,” Rangers forward Jonny Brodzinski said. “You saw it with Kaapo [Kakko] at one point this year. It’s scary for anybody. It sucks that we have to brush it off and get right back out there and play in a game.”

Kakko sustained a scary lower-body injury Nov. 27 against the Buffalo Sabres. He was helped from the MSG ice and missed 21 games. Kakko has three goals in 10 games since returning.

Rangers center Filip Chytil sustained a devastating upper-body injury Nov. 2 against the Carolina Hurricanes after a collision with former Blueshirt forward Jesper Fast. It appeared that he was on the road back after returning to practice before the All-Star break, but Chytil sustained a setback related to the original injury, believed to be a concussion, and is out for the season.

Vincent Trocheck told Forever Blueshirts at All-Star Weekend in Toronto that he was “shocked” about Chytil’s setback.

“It’s scary to see him go through what he has,” Trocheck said.

Now, unfortunately, it’s Sergachev’s turn to deal with an apparently devastating injury.

And the Rangers clearly understand the pain and shock he and his Lightning teammates are going through.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny