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2011 NHL Playoffs: Lightning's Steven Stamkos Hit In Face With Shot, Leaves Game

A Johnny Boychuk slap shot caught an unaware Steven Stamkos in the face during the second period of tonight’s Game 7 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.

Stamkos wears a shield, which may have prevented even more damage. It’s unclear whether the puck deflected off his shield first, or hit his face first, but it still inflicted serious damage. Stamkos went down immediately, then jumped up and skated quickly to the bench and up into the tunnel, pressing a towel against his nose and mouth. The toughness of hockey players is legendary, but there may not be enough time to do whatever it would take to get the Lightning’s top goal-scorer from the regular season back into the game.

UPDATE: Just kidding everyone! Stamkos was in the locker room for about 10 minutes and came back out wearing a full face cage. He missed maybe one or two shifts.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.