Matthew Tkachuk gets a taste of his own medicine, forced off the ice in Game 3 following devastating hit

Matthew Tkachuk has been the most important player for the Florida Panthers in this year’s playoff, and he’s really stepped up his game when it’s needed the most. That’s why every Florida Panthers fan held their breath as he was forced to leave the ice early in Game 3.

Matthew Tkachuk loves to play the physical game, and earlier in the series against the Vegas Golden Knights, he delivered one of the hardest hits we’ve ever seen against superstar Jack Eichel.

In Game 3, Tkachuk got a taste of his own medicine as he was sent flying by Keegan Kolesar. Game 3 had just started as Kolesar delivered a huge open-ice hit on Tkachuk, who went down. Tkachuk stumbled as he tried to up and skate to the bench. After talking to a trainer on the bench, he went back on the ice to start a Florida power play, but not long after, he went down the tunnel, and he didn’t return to play in the first period.

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Afterward, it became clear that Tkachuk was pulled by concussion spotters. He later cleared protocol and returned to the game, and oh, how important that was for the Florida Panthers.

Tkachuk scored the tying goal with 2:13 left in regulation. The goal forced overtime, and there he provided the screen on the goal from Carter Verhaeghe’s OT winner.

And for Tkachuk, it was never any doubt that he would return to the game.

”I felt great — I feel great,” Tkachuk said. ”I’m ready to go. Everybody’s excited that we’re in this position right now.”

The 3-2 victory means that Florida’s deficit in the series is cut to 2-1.

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