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John Tavares out for remainder of Olympics after injuring leg

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

John Tavares was injured in the second period against Latvia. (Getty Images)
John Tavares was injured in the second period against Latvia. (Getty Images)

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Canada defeated Latvia 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, but it came at a cost. John Tavares is going to miss the rest of the Olympic tournament.

Canada coach Mike Babcock made the announcement after Canada's win that Tavares suffered a leg injury and will not play another game for Canada. There's not much word on the severity of the injury yet and how it will affect his day job with the Islanders in the NHL.

The injury occurred in the second period when Tavares was moving up the wall in the offensive zone. He was trying to squeeze past Latvian defenseman Arturs Kulda, who pinched Tavares to the boards with a hip check, Tavares' left leg getting stuck behind him a bit. He fell to the ice and remained down for a moment. Here's a look via @MyRegularFace.

Tavares did get off the ice mostly on his own power and tried to remain on the bench but after wincing in pain for a few moments, he headed down the tunnel to the dressing room and didn't return.

Despite the fact that Tavares doesn't have any points in Canada's four games, he has been one of their better forwards in the Olympics. Or at least he was in the first two games. The tournament opened with Tavares on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Benn and they were the most effective group for Canada in the early going. Babcock started to juggle the lines afterward and Tavares didn't quite have the same success but is obviously still a dynamite player.

His injury means that the speedy Matt Duchene will slot in for Canada against the United States in the semifinal on Friday. Tavares is a center in the NHL but on Team Canada he has been playing largely on the wing.

As for the Islanders, well let's just say that it's a good thing they're out of contention this season and are going to be in sell mode when the roster freeze is lifted.

 
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