Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk miraculously avoided an eye injury after taking a skate blade to the face. Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk left the ice in a panic on Tuesday night after taking a skate to the face, but fortunately he is expected to make a full recovery.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters on Wednesday that Boychuk suffered no damage to his eyeball, as the blade of the skate only cut his eyelid. It took 90 stitches to close the wound. Lamoriello noted that plastic surgeons use small stitches, but 90 stitches is 90 stitches.

There’s no exact timetable for Boychuck’s return, but it’s clear the incident could have been a lot worse.

Boychuck appeared to shove Artturi Lehkonen in the back to keep the Montreal Canadiens forward away from Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, and Lehkonen fell forward. Lehkonen’s leg went into the air and his skate hit Boychuck directly in the face. The video may be difficult for some to watch.

We have seen the type of horrifying damage a skate to the face can cause, and it’s great news that Boychuk avoided eye damage and is going to be fine. That could have been disastrous.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.



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