Isles’ Boychuk gets 90 stitches after taking skate to face

Sports
Artturi Lehkonen, Johnny Boychuk

Montreal Canadiens left wing Artturi Lehkonen (62) watches as New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) clutches his face after Lehkonen’s skate hit him on the face during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in New York. The Canadiens won 6-2. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk needed 90 stitches to his eyelid after being hit in the face with a skate but suffered no damage to his eye, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said Wednesday.

Boychuk was cut Tuesday night when he was hit by Artturi Lehkonen’s skate as the Montreal Canadiens left wing fell forward.

“Johnny Boychuk is OK. There’s been no damage to his eye,” Lamoriello told reporters. “He felt the skate blade get his eye, but fortunately, it just got the eyelid. It took 90 stitches to fix; a plastic surgeon took care of it. I don’t want to exaggerate with the stitches because they do very small stitches, but there were 90 of them.”

Both players were in front of the Islanders’ net during the third period when Lehkonen fell, causing his legs to go into the air and his right skate to connect with Boychuk under the visor. Boychuk was down on the ice briefly before he got up and skated off the ice with his hand covering his face.

“He’ll be fine,” Lamoriello said. “It’s just a matter of time with the eye opening up and him feeling good.”

There is no timetable on his return.

Boychuk previously took a skate to the neck in a Feb. 28 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He returned later that game.

The Canadiens won Tuesday’s game 6-2.

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