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Devils' Madden hit in face with puck, leaves game and returns

NHL.com @NHL

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -New Jersey center John Madden missed the final 6:28 of the first period Sunday after being hit by a shot and cut on the right side of his face in the Devils' 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.

Madden received an undisclosed number of stitches and played the final two periods wearing a visor on his helmet. He had a nasty gash below his eye and his face was badly swollen and black and blue after the game. Droplets of blood dripped occasionally from his nose as he talked to reporters.

"I have seen guys take a lot worse shots than this and get back out there," Madden said. "That's the way the game is played."

Madden felt he was hurt worse when he hit by a puck shot by New York Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek in another season.

"I was chasing down an icing and I was 15 or 20 feet behind him and he turned around and shot it out of the zone and it hit me right in the face," said Madden, one of the NHL's top defensive forwards.

Madden even downplayed the jagged ugly gash on his face Sunday.

"The gash was nothing, it was just a big cut," Madden said. "It's like getting cut with a knife or something like that. Bone wasn't involved. You know, force was involved. It caught me pretty clean. It looked worse than it was."

Madden was hurt when he put his stick down to deflect a power-play shot by Lightning forward Eric Perrin. The shot deflected and the puck struck him in the face and opened a cut.

Madden went down immediately to the ice, holding his face. He stayed down for about 20 seconds and skated off, helped initially by a Devils trainer and then referee Kerry Fraser and linemate Jay Pandolfo.

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