Jonny Murray never saw it coming.
The veteran official was leveled by a blindside hit from Hurricanes defenseman Jake Gardiner in front of the Carolina bench.
With Murray’s focus on the puck as the action moved up ice, he missed the physical contact behind the play. Gardiner and Stars winger Blake Comeau exchanged shots on the way to their respective benches. Comeau shoved Gardiner into the low boards at the bench — and the linesman.
Gardiner right arm caught an unsuspecting Murray up high.
Murray left the ice for evaluation. The game continued with referees Francis Charron and Francois St. Laurent, with Andrew Smith as the lone linesman.
Fortunately, Murray was not seriously injured. He was able to return to the game for the second period.