Veteran defenseman Dan Boyle was taken off the ice on a stretcher Tuesday after being hit from behind in the early minutes of the Sharks' game against the St. Louis Blues.

Boyle was hit by Blues forward Maxim Lapierre at 5:22 of the first period and the impact appeared to drive his face into the rim at the top of the boards.

As several fights broke out the Sharks' training staff made its way to Boyle and then called for the stretcher. Leaving the ice Boyle moved his right arm as if to show he did have some movement.

The Sharks said after the first period that Boyle was alert and responsive as he headed to the hospital