NHL

Jets lose Morrissey for remainder of first-round series after OT loss to Golden Knights

By Sports Desk April 22, 2023

The Winnipeg Jets have been dealt a major blow with Josh Morrissey ruled out of the rest of their Stanley Cup first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights after Saturday's 5-4 double overtime loss.

Morrissey has had a career-best season, with 76 points in 78 games while averaging a team-high 24:14 per game, but collided knee on knee with Vegas defenseman Zach Whitecloud after four minutes in Saturday's game.

The Jets' All-Star defenseman favoured his right leg following the incident and exited down the tunnel and did not return.

Jets coach Rick Bowness confirmed the injury after the thrilling loss where Winnipeg had rallied back from 4-1 down, only to lose in OT, with VGK opening up a 2-1 series lead.

"It was very unfortunate to lose Morrissey, he's got a lower body [injury] and he's done for the series," he said.

"We've played all year long with a lot of injuries, every team does. You have the next man up. He's a top five D in this league right now. He plays important minutes. He drives the offense so he's a big hole.

"We played the rest of the game without him. We scored four. We're going to have the play the rest of the seirs without him because this series is far from over."

Adam Lowry had tied the game with 21.9 seconds left in regulation, capping the Jets' three-goal third period comeback, after goals from Nino Niederreiter and Mark Scheifele.

But Michael Amadio scored at 3:40 of the second overtime to earn the Golden Knights a crucial road win.

Bowness added: "That was a hell of a hockey game. The crowd was fantastic. The guys laid it all out on the line. They played their hearts out.

"We're down three going into the third and we kept fighting. There's no quitting in this group."

Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy praised his experienced side for clinching victory after letting slip their three-goal lead.

"You shouldn’t give up a lead when you have a veteran group, you should find a way to get it to the finish line," he said.

"We're also a veteran group who can put it behind us. If you've followed our team all year, we've found different ways to win."

On Morrissey's injury, Cassidy added: "Obviously that’s a heavy minute, highly productive player that they'll miss. Their depth will have to come through for them.

"It's a tough break in the playoffs to lose a guy like that but it won't change how we're going to play."

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