Montreal Canadiens centre Phillip Danault was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit in the head by a Zdeno Chara slapshot on Saturday night.

The rising shot at 18:23 of the second period looked to hit Danault on the side of the head. He lay on the ice for several minutes before being lifted onto a stretcher and taken away for treatment.

He was moving and appeared to be speaking to medical staff before he left the ice, to an ovation from the Bell Centre crowd.

The Canadiens issued a statement during the third period that said: "Danault suffered a head injury. He was taken to the hospital for further exams. He is awake and moving."

Chara and other players from both teams gathered around Danault as he was attended by medical staff.

The 24-year-old Victoriaville, Que., native, a first round draft pick by Chicago in 2011, is in his third full NHL season. He usually plays on a top line with Max Pacioretty. He has seven goals and 15 assists in 43 games this season.

Canadiens coach Claude Julien said after the game that Danault would remain in hospital overnight and would be re-evaluated on Sunday.