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Down 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Final, the Carolina Hurricanes will now be without star defenseman Jaccob Slavin for the rest of Game 4. Following a big hit from Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett, Slavin exited the game in the first period and will not return, according to the team.

Less than 90 seconds into the game, Slavin took a fraction of a second to look down at the puck as he was gathering it behind Carolina's net, and he missed Bennett coming at him like a freight train. Bennett lowered his shoulder, and knocked the 6-foot-3 Slavin clean off his feet.

Officials immediately stopped the game, and Slavin stumbled into the net while attempting to stand up. Eventually, Slavin had to be helped off the ice and down the tunnel to the locker room.

Not long after Slavin exited the game, the Hurricanes announced that he would not return.

That makes Carolina's 3-0 series deficit even more daunting. Slavin has been excellent throughout the postseason. The Hurricanes have outscored opponents 15-5 with Slavin on the ice at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

Brent Burns and the rest of the Hurricanes' defensemen will have big shoes to fill with Slavin injured. Expect to see more of Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce as Game 4 continues.