By John Vogl
After watching Rich Peverley collapse on the Stars' bench, Lindy Ruff called for help and had one emotion.
"I was scared," Dallas' coach said Monday night after the postponement of his game against Columbus. "My first emotion was we need somebody here real quick. When he dropped, it was red alert, don't worry about the game, don't worry about anything else; just turn around and scream for a doctor and that's all. It was just let's get him the help he needs, and they came and got him the help.
"For me, it was something I don't want to witness again."
Ruff was right. Peverley, who was being treated for an irregular heartbeat and had a procedure prior to the season, needed immediate help.
"He was brought back to the hallway for treatment, where we treated him for a cardiac event, successfully treated with standard therapy,” said Dr. Gil Salazar. “We provided oxygen for him. We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring.
"As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness. He was alert and awake talking to us after the event and quickly transported to the hospital. At this point, I was able to talk to him in the back of the ambulance, and he was able to tell me where he was and he actually wanted to get back in the game."
The Stars and the NHL decided to postpone the game, with a makeup date to be announced later. Peverley collapsed just minutes into the game.
"There's nobody in there that wants to play hockey right now, and I think everybody understands that when you've witnessed what they had to witness and that's their teammate," Ruff said. "And that's the right place to be. That's the right emotion to have. They're not doing very good, and I wouldn't expect them to be."
The Dallas Morning News reports that Peverley had heart problems after last week's game against the Sabres, which resulted in an adjustment of his medication.
"If it wasn't for our doctors and all the members reacting so quickly and so efficiently, I could be standing here with a different story," Ruff said. "But they did an absolutely fabulous job."