Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Ludvig made his NHL debut Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. The d-man played just over five minutes through the middle of the second period, but his big hit on Dallas center Radek Faksa ended his night.
With just over nine minutes remaining in the second period, Ludvig lined up Faksa at center ice and delivered a full-speed open-ice hit. Ludvig stopped Faksa but appeared to be knocked out from the hit as he fell face-first and lay prone on the ice.
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Ludvig appeared wobbly as teammates Noel Acciari and Marcus Pettersson helped him up and eventually to the locker room.
The Penguins claimed Ludvig on waivers from the Florida Panthers on Oct. 9. He played the last three seasons for Florida’s AHL affiliate. The Penguins have recently kept eight defensemen on the roster. Tuesday, Ludvig was paired with Ryan Shea, who made his NHL debut in the game prior.
Ludvig, 23, is from Czechia. The 6-foot-1, 213-pound defenseman had one shot and two hits before being helped off the ice after laying motionless for 30 seconds or more. In addition to Penguins trainers, team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas was also on the ice to help Ludvig.
The Penguins and Stars were tied 1-1 at the time of the hit.
UPDATE: The Penguins announced Ludvig would not return to the game and the team would update his status at a later time.