Predators' Kevin Fiala hospitalized after crashing into boards

ST. LOUIS -- Nashville forward Kevin Fiala was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he hurt his left leg during Game 1 of the Predators' second-round playoff series against the Blues on Wednesday night.

Fiala was hit by Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and went hard into the boards behind the St. Louis net at 1:46 of the second period. The injury led to a 17-minute delay while Fiala received medical attention.

"It was tough," Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said. "You never want to see a young kid go down like that and be taken off on a stretcher. I've experienced it before and it's not fun, especially for your family and friends, so we hope he's OK."

Fiala was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. The team said he is "alert and in stable condition."

After the delay for Fiala's injury and the arrival of a second ambulance at the arena, the Predators responded with a Subban goal 36 seconds after play resumed. Nashville went on to win 4-3 and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

"Obviously, responded very well with that goal, but it's hard to see your teammate go down like that," Predators center Colin Wilson said. "I feel for him. Great teammate, great player. Going to have to rally around him."

Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters after the game that the team would update Fiala's status at a later time.

He was happy with how the team handled the delay.

"I don't think anybody could have thought or planned for an incident like that with Kevin,'' Laviolette said. "Yet, our guys, you could hear them on the bench when it happened and making sure their next shift was going to be a good one for Kevin. The leaders on the team were going up and down the bench and saying the right things, and shortly after that, we scored a goal."

Fiala, 20, was selected by Nashville with the 11th pick in the 2014 draft.

He scored two goals in the Predators' first-round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks.