Dallas Stars’ Roman Polak stretchered off ice after crashing into end boards

Dallas Stars defenseman Roman Polak left Thursday’s season opener against the Boston Bruins in a stretcher after a head-first fall into the end boards.

The 33-year-old went down in the second period when he initiated contact with Bruins forward Chris Wagner as the opponents chased the puck into the corner. As Polak lowered his body to make contact, his right skate appeared to lose its edge, sending Polak awkwardly into the boards, with his right shoulder and head bearing the brunt of impact.

Polak, who just entered his second season with the Stars, laid motionless on the ice for several minutes while medical personnel from both teams and emergency responders in the arena stabilized him and ushered him off the ice in a stretcher.

Players and fans alike appeared stunned at the 14-year veteran’s injury — Bruins captain Zdeno Chara checked on his opponent as he was loaded on to the stretcher.

Here is an alternate angle of the injury:

The Stars announced shortly after Polak left the ice that he had been taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Dallas lost two other players during Thursday’s game, too; forward Blake Comeau left the game with a lower-body injury and forward Jason Dickinson suffered an upper-body injury.

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