ST. LOUIS — Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks won the matchup of unbeaten teams.
But the Sharks had more pressing concerns for teammate Dan Boyle.
Thornton had a goal and three assists and Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists and the Sharks downed the St. Louis Blues 6-2 Tuesday night.
Boyle was lost for the game with a head injury suffered early in the first period.
Boyle was taken off on a stretcher early in the first period following a check from behind by the Blues' Maxim Lapierre, who was ejected from the game for checking from behind.
A Sharks spokesperson said Boyle was alert and responsive on the way to the hospital. Boyle will be kept overnight for observation.
Thornton was one of the first players on the ice.
“He wasn't (saying anything) and that's what was so scary,” Thornton said. “I've never seen a guy be like that before. It just takes your breath away. He wasn't responding or anything. It was very, very scary.”
Several Sharks players were critical of Lapierre afterward.
“It's just disgusting to see that type of play in hockey, when a player that probably shouldn't even be in this league is taking out one of the best players in the world,” said Sharks center Logan Couture, who had a goal and an assist. “(Lapierre) has got a history.”
Added Joe Pavelski, who scored his first goal of the season: “Idiots are idiots out there. Dan is a world-class defenseman ... (Lapierre saw) straight numbers (in front of him). There's guys in the league that will target that ... It doesn't matter, they'll just go. It (stinks). Guys responded appropriately.”
Sharks coach Todd McLellan gave the good news of Boyle's status.
“Well, he left and he went to the hospital and from what I understand, he's doing OK,” McLellan said. “A very scary moment, needless. It doesn't have to happen in our game. It doesn't have to happen.”