- Associated Press - Monday, March 10, 2014

DALLAS — They frantically pounded their sticks on the boards, trying desperately to get the attention of officials.

No luck.

Then the Dallas Stars players took matters into their own hands and jumped onto the ice while the game was still on.

Rich Peverley, a teammate with a history of heart trouble, had collapsed on the bench.

“When he dropped, it was red alert,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “Don’t worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors. The players don’t want to play, and I don’t want to coach the team right now.”

Dallas Stars right wing Alex Chiasson (12) bows his head on the bench as defenseman Jordie Benn (24) takes a knee on the ice after play was stopped in the first period of an NHL Hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Monday, March 10, 2014, in Dallas. Stars center Rich Peverly was taken to a hospital after a medical emergency. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)
Dallas Stars right wing Alex Chiasson (12) bows his head on the ... more >

He didn’t have to.

So rattled were the coach and team that Monday night’s game between the Stars and Columbus was postponed with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0 in the first period.

The 31-year-old forward was taken to a Dallas hospital and was in good condition. But there was little such assurance earlier in the night.

Once the game stopped, the Stars players stood in silence, clearly in distress, wary of what happened to one of their own. Some players from both teams dropped to one knee on the ice.

“I was scared,” Ruff said.

Forward Erik Cole tried to rush into the tunnel just after Peverley was carried through, only to be turned away. He gnawed at the thumb of a glove while he waited for word on what would come next.

Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.

Six months ago, Peverley underwent a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat after a training camp physical revealed the condition. He missed a game last week with a recurrence of the problem.

Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Hospitals said Peverley was treated Monday night for a cardiac event at American Airlines Center.

“We provided oxygen for him,” Salazar said. “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 able to tell me where he was.”

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