Nick Schmaltz, Tanner Kero leave season opener vs. Penguins

But luckily Joel Quenneville said they’re both “fine.”

Amid all the excitement in the Blackhawks’ season-opening beatdown of the Penguins, forwards Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero left the game with injuries. The big concern in particular was with Schmaltz, who tweaked his left knee and couldn’t walk back to the locker room under his own power.

Luckily, coach Joel Quenneville said after the 10-1 win over Pittsburgh that both players are “fine.”

Schmaltz had been a revelation against Pittsburgh before the injury with two goals and an assist. He looks to be on the brink of a breakout season with the Blackhawks, assuming it’s not derailed by health problems.

The injury occurred in the third period with the Hawks already leading 9-1. He got caught between two Penguins players and twisted his left leg a bit, which leads to the possibility of a knee injury. Unsurprisingly, the team played it safe with the big lead and pulled him from the game.

Kero left a bit before that after a knee-to-knee collision with another player. It appears he’s also okay.

Considering both injuries came late in a blowout, it would’ve been pretty unfortunate if either one needed to miss extended time. It doesn’t look like that’ll be the case.