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Hurricanes' Pacioretty to have MRI: 'Hopefully it’s not as bad as we think'

Max Pacioretty Brent Burns Carolina Hurricanes Max Pacioretty and Brent Burns - The Canadian Press

The Carolina Hurricanes appear to be bracing for the worst when it comes Max Pacioretty's injury sustained late in Thursday's 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Pacioretty dropped to the ice with just 19 seconds left in the win with a non-contact injury. The veteran winger, who returned from tearing his Achilles tendon during the off-season on Jan. 5, pulled up after passing the puck, grabbing at the back of his lower right leg.

He had to be helped to the locker room while putting no weight on that leg, which was surgically repaired over the summer.

“We know what kind of player he is,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We got a glimpse of it and that was exciting. It’s the kind of player that we needed, a guy who could put the puck in the net.

"Hopefully it’s not as bad as we think, but I’m not too optimistic right now.”

The 34-year-old was acquired in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights in July. He has three goals in five games this season.

“It's just really tough to see,” defenceman Brady Skjei added of the injury.

Pacioretty appeared in 39 games last season for the Golden Knights and posted 19 goals and 37 points.

The New Canaan, Conn., native has 326 goals and 645 points over 855 games with the Hurricanes, Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens.