Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals was an almost-perfect start for the San Jose Sharks as they faced elimination at home vs. the LA Kings. The only thing keeping it from being perfect was a bizarre injury to Sharks defenseman Justin Braun.
Not like you ever want to see an injury, but it was one of the last that you'd want to see -- the dreaded non-contact injury. Braun hopped onto the ice for a line change and immediately went down to the ice at the opposite end of the play, clutching his back. He remained down for a minute before being helped off the ice and to the trainer's room to be evaluated.
It was slightly reminiscent of when teammate Martin Havlat injured himself stepping onto the ice last season.
Fortunately for Braun and the Sharks, he did return to the bench near the end of the first period. The injury apparently wasn't that serious. Still, an awkward injury and nervous moment for the Sharks.
Braun isn't a big offensive contributor -- he had seven assists in the regular season and one thus far in the playoffs -- but he became a bigger part of San Jose's defense this season, playing 18:48 per game in the regular season and 20:05 during the playoffs.