Kirill Kaprizov sustained an upper-body injury for the Minnesota Wild in the second period of a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday.
Kaprizov was injured at 10:09 when he was hit along the left boards by Trent Frederic after he got his skates caught up with Matt Grzelcyk. Kaprizov skated slowly to the bench before being helped down the tunnel to the locker room.
“Really frustrated with how Kirill got hurt,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “I mean, it’s a [predatory] hit. … I mean, we don’t want that, right? The puck is sitting right there. You know what he’s doing. He’s going to hurt our best player. There’s no question that there is no intention. … That is not a hockey play. The puck’s sitting right there. All he has to do is take the puck and go. And in a vulnerable position, you hit a player from behind. We see it all the time, and it gets taken care of. I hope it gets taken care of here.
“[Kaprizov] is as tough and gritty as they get, and he doesn’t come back in that hockey game. So it doesn’t look good.”
Frederic was assessed a minor penalty at 10:12 for boarding on the play and a fighting major against Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.
“I hope [Kaprizov] is all right,” Frederic said. “Obviously, I didn’t mean to hurt him. I was just going to make a hockey play and finish a check. I haven’t seen it. I think he kind of fell as I was doing it, so it’s hard to pull off it.”
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said, “I didn’t see it live. … It looks like [Kaprizov] turned away from [Grzelcyk] in a 1-on-1 situation, and Frederic was tracking back into the zone. I don’t know if Kaprizov stumbled or ducked from the hit. I don’t know the player well enough, but Frederic sort of leaned into him. I don’t think there’s any malicious intent other than separating him from the puck, which you better do, or he’ll hurt you. You just have to do it in a legal matter.
“It looked clean from my point. They didn’t see it that way. Obviously, Minnesota is going to react. It’s one of their best players, so I get that. We’d do the same. [I] didn’t think there was anything malicious in the hit, personally.”
Kaprizov, who scored a power-play goal earlier in the game to tie it 1-1, leads Minnesota with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 32 games this season.
“I didn’t watch it back, but to me on the ice, it looked like a dirty hit,” Kulikov said. “Frederic was coming in, Kirill was in a vulnerable position, and he still made the hit. You don’t want to see your teammate go down like that. It’s just unfortunate he left the game. [I would have stood up] for anyone.”
Minnesota (20-10-2), which ended a five-game skid with the win against Boston, is next scheduled to play at the Washington Capitals on Saturday and the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 14.
NHL.com independent correspondent Patrick Donnelly contributed to this report