7:47 PM ET
ESPN News Services
An aircast was applied to Ekblad’s left leg. Minutes earlier, Ekblad got caught up with Stars defenseman Esa Lindell in the corner following a hit from Lindell.
Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said after the 4-1 win that Ekblad would fly home with the team Sunday night and undergo further evaluation on Monday, at which point the extent of his injuries should be known.
“We think he’s going to be out for an extensive time,” Quenneville said.
Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau said it was difficult to see a friend and teammate go down like that.
“He’s hurt. He’s probably going to be out for a while. It’s not cool. … You hear him scream. It must have hurt so bad. I didn’t really see it. I really didn’t want to see it,” he said.
Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle said “it’s never easy” to see a teammate get injured and helped off the ice, but that it’s on Florida’s players to pick up where Ekblad left off.
“Anytime you miss a guy like that … I don’t know how long he’s gonna be out, but it’s one of those things where everyone has to step up and help fill those shoes,” Yandle said.
Ekblad has 11 goals this season, tied for the most among NHL defensemen. He scored the winning goal in overtime Saturday night against the Stars.
The Panthers were already playing their third straight game without captain Aleksander Barkov, who is sidelined with a lower body injury, and Patric Hornqvist, who is expected to miss a week with an undisclosed injury.
Florida is two points behind first-place Tampa Bay and one behind second-place Carolina in the Central Division.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski and The Associated Press contributed to this report.