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Serious injury to Ekblad casts shadow on Panthers win at Dallas

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Panthers Dallas Ekblad injury
Aaron Ekblad warms up before a game at BB&T Center. The Florida Panthers star defenseman was carted off the ice in Dallas on Sunday with what appears to be a serious left leg injury. // Photo by Roger Topalian 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice in the first period but it was a serious-looking injury to star defenseman Aaron Ekblad which cast a pall on the Panthers 4-1 win in Dallas Sunday night.

Ekblad, the top pick of the 2014 draft, was having his best NHL season before he had to be carted off the ice by Dallas EMTs after an awkward collision in the second period as his skate appeared to be wedged between the ice and the boards.

On Saturday, Ekblad scored twice in OT — only one counted, obviously — to end Florida’s three-game losing streak.

Sunday, it is possible his season may be over.

Coach Joel Quenneville said he expects Ekblad to be out an “extensive” amount of time.

”Tough blow for us,” Anthony Duclair said.

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Before the injury, Huberdeau ended his five-game scoring slump in a big way, scoring twice in the first period to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead they would not give up.

Florida’s two-game sweep of the host Stars was most welcomed after the team opened this five-game road trip with its first three-game losing streak of the season.

But again, there were few smiles around the Panthers on Sunday.

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