Matthew Tkachuk left Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final with an injury following a massive hit from Keegan Kolesar of the Vegas Golden Knights, The hit happened at 13:34 of the first period with the Panthers leading 1–0. Tkachuk was skating down the ice when Kolesar hit him from behind, sending him head first into the boards, Tkachuk was down on the ice for several minutes before being assisted to his feet and escorted off the ice by the Panthers’ training staf, He didn’t returned to the game.
The hit was reviewed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, but Kolesar was not penalised, After the game, Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said Tkachuk had suffered a concussion and would be further evaluated.
The Panthers went on to win game 3 with a score of 5-3, Tkachuk’s status for Game 4 is unknown.
The hit on Tkachuk was a major talking point following the game, Some fans and analysts felt that Kolesar should have been punished for the hit, while others felt that it was a clean hit, The NHL’s Department of Player Safety ultimately decided not to suspend Kolesar, but the hit would likely be reviewed again if Tkachuk’s injury forces him to miss any time in the Stanley Cup Final.