(Winnipeg) Before the puck drop between the Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, a young fan got to dress up, carry a Jets flag and skate on the ice with his hockey idols.

As the boy walked towards the back of the net in his goalie gear, he lost his balance and fell. After getting up and continuing what he was doing, Jets star defenseman Josh Morrissey skated alongside the young boy and patted him gently on the back.

It was a nice gesture from one of the team’s important players, who ended up leaving the game early in the first half with a lower body injury that will sideline him. for the rest of the series.

The Golden Knights lead the series 2-1 following a 5-4 victory in second overtime on Saturday. Game 4 is Monday in Winnipeg.

For Morrissey’s teammates, his injury is a bad thing that happens to a good person and creates a defensive void that will be difficult to fill.

Defenseman Neal Pionk had a team-high 41 minutes and eight seconds of ice time as the Jets were down to five defensemen. He had three assists.

“His mentality, his grit, his vocal leadership on the bench and in the locker room, all of that will be missed,” Pionk told reporters on Sunday when asked to describe Morrissey’s qualities.

Morrissey was injured following knee-to-knee contact with Golden Knights player Zach Whitecloud. After taking part in a power play, he went to the bench, looking like he was suffering from his right leg, before returning, with difficulty, to the locker room. He never returned to the game.

Morrissey started the playoffs after posting the best regular season of his career.

The assistant captain set a club record for most points by a defender, with 76 points in 78 games (16 goals and 60 assists). He was also the second-leading scorer among NHL defensemen. He got an assist in the series against the Knights.

Only a few players skated for the Jets on Sunday, but Morrissey was part of the lot.

“It’s never easy to lose a player who makes the difference, a guy who leads the group for us all year,” said veteran defender Nate Schmidt.

The Jets will recall another defenseman as insurance and will therefore have seven during the warm-up before Monday’s game.

The Jets trailed 4-1 heading into the third period on Saturday and forced overtime when Adam Lowry scored 22 seconds from the end of regulation. Michael Amadio scored the winning goal for the Golden Knights after 3:40 of play in extra time.