You don't want to get caught in the Matthew Tkachuk train tracks.
Jack Eichel learned that the hard way.
In Game 2 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, the Panthers winger laid a thunderous hit on the Golden Knights star, sending Eichel's helmet flying and the forward hurting.
TKACHUK WITH A MAJOR HIT ON EICHEL 👀 pic.twitter.com/RF6vSF8WNG— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) June 6, 2023
The collision caused Eichel to leave the game in the final two minutes of the second period, but Tkachuk was not penalized for the hit on the play. However, he did earn himself a two-minute minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for the skirmish after the hit.
The Golden Knights center returned for the third period, dishing out a slick assist in his first shift back on Jonathan Marchessault's second goal of the night.
Eichel ended the night with two assists, contributing to the dominant 7-2 win for Vegas.
After the game, Eichel discussed the hit from Tkachuk, calling the play "clean" and putting a bit of the blame on himself.
"I kind of toe-picked a little bit and saw him at the last minute. He finishes what I saw was a clean check on me," Eichel said. "It's a physical game. You're gonna get hit sometimes."
Vegas head coach Bruce Cassidy echoed the same statements from Eichel on the Tkachuk play, calling it a "clean" hit.
The Golden Knights star explained that he had the wind knocked out of him, and once he got back to the locker room and regrouped himself, he knew he was good to get back on the ice.
Jack Eichel said he got back to the dressing room, realized he was fine, regrouped and got ready for the 3rd period.— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) June 6, 2023
He said he got the wind knocked out of him a bit.
The fact that Eichel was able to return is great news for the Golden Knights. He has played an integral role in the club's postseason success this season, leading the team with 22 points in 19 games.
With Vegas holding a 2-0 series lead over Florida in the Stanley Cup Final, Eichel's services will be needed going forward in order to secure the final two wins that are necessary to raise the Stanley Cup.