The two Montreal Canadiens wingers seemed to be finding their stride, especially Josh Anderson on that top-line; until two ill-fated situations forced both players out of the game. Despite cruising to a 4-0 shutout victory against their divisional rival, the Buffalo Sabres, the biggest worry for the Montreal Canadiens and their fans was the health of both players.
At 16:38 in the first period, Paul Byron appeared to be crunched into the boards by Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, which resulted in a bloody nose and a whole lot of rage for Paul Byron. Although the hit looks like a perfect, box-out kind of check from Samuelsson, it’s most likely the ensuing fall on the back of his head that forced Paul Byron out of the game. The Montreal Canadiens confirmed at the start of the second period that the veteran winger would not return to the game, leaving the Canadiens with just 11 forwards for the final two periods.
Paul Byron had just returned to the Canadiens last month after having been out the entirety of the season up until that point due to a significant surgery on his hip. Hopefully, for Byron, he can find himself back in the lineup soon, having only played 9 games this season so far.
Paul Byron was left with a bloody right nostril following this hit from Mattias Samuelsson. 😖 pic.twitter.com/domD9EdCaA
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 24, 2022
At the 3:44 mark in the second period, another veteran winger went down. Josh Anderson sacrificed his body to block a shot coming from Buffalo’s Casey Mittelstadt which seemed to catch him near his face, right where his helmet starts. He was thankfully able to get up on his own power and slowly skated over to the Canadiens’ bench; making his way directly to the dressing room. Beforewrist shot this injury, Anderson has picked up an assist on the first Nick Suzuki goal and was flying all over the ice. The bruising winger, who forms one of the hottest lines in the NHL at the moment with Suzuki and Cole Caufield, was replaced on the top line by Mike Hoffman to start the third period; as the Canadiens announced he too would not be returning for the remainder of the game.
A bloodied Josh Anderson left on his own steam after taking a Casey Mittelstadt wristshot off left side of his face. Let's wish it's not serious always hoping we see a healthy Josh back real soon #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/YYs9f9KlvF
— JeSuisCH🇺🇦BleuJaune (@HabsHappy) February 24, 2022
The Montreal Canadiens announced shortly after the game that both Paul Byron and Josh Anderson had been taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, and had already returned before the conclusion of the game. Both were said to be out indefinitely with upper-body injuries and would be reevaluated in the coming days.
When asked about the status of his linemate, Nick Suzuki provided Canadiens fans with a glimmer of hope. “I think Andy’s going to be just fine, I saw him after the game” Nick Suzuki told reporters when questioned on Josh Anderson, quelling the idea that Anderson could be out long-term. With the Canadiens having off today, expect to learn more on their status Friday, before the Canadiens set out on their two-week road trip.
Josh Anderson and Paul Byron were taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons. They have since returned.
Both have upper-body injuries, and the extent of their injuries is not yet known.@mndamico
— Montreal Hockey Now (@MTLhockeynow) February 24, 2022