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O'Byrne returns after taking skate to face in game @NHLdotcom

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The stubbly beard of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan O'Byrne attempts to conceal the pinkish cut that required 100 stitches to close.

O'Byrne was caught flush in the face by the skate of Edmonton's Taylor Hall early in a game two weeks ago, causing a gash that begins just above the left side of his mouth and snakes downward from there.

He needed 30 stitches on the outside of his cheek to close the wound and 70 more inside.

Still, he considers himself fortunate. The skate narrowly avoided a nerve in his face and completely missed his eye or neck. He said after practice Monday "it could have been worse, for sure."

O'Byrne will return to the ice Tuesday night in Minnesota, wearing a caged helmet to provide protection.

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