PITTSBURGH - San Jose Sharks defenseman Justin Braun played Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final shortly after learning his father-in-law, former NHL player Tom Lysiak, died earlier Monday.
"It's a hard thing to go through," Braun said after a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center. "[I] would have liked to put a better effort out. Just have to separate that and come out and play a little better."
Braun is married to Lysiak's daughter, Jessie. Tom Lysiak, 63, died of leukemia.
He had 292 goals and 843 points in 919 games in 13 NHL seasons with the Atlanta Flames and Chicago Blackhawks. Lysiak had 63 points in 76 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
After a standout junior career with Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League, Lysiak was selected by the Flames with the second pick of the 1973 NHL Draft. He spent parts of six seasons in Atlanta before he was traded to Chicago on March 13, 1979.
"He was great; full of life," Braun said. "Loved to hang out with the boys, hearing about the hockey days when he played. He was just one of the guys, loved hanging out. [He] was a great husband, a great father; was great to me, welcomed me into the family. It was a tough day."