BOSTON - Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos was hit in the face by a puck and briefly left Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Boston Bruins early in the second period on Friday night.
Stamkos was hit on the left side of the head off a hard shot from the right point by Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk and he immediately dropped to the ice. The referee waved for the trainer, but Stamkos got off and skated quickly to the Lightning bench, holding his face. There was some blood on the ice.
He was out for about five minutes of game time, then returned with a full cage face shield in place of the visor he had been wearing.
The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008, Stamkos tied for the NHL lead in goals last season and was second this season. He has six goals and seven assists in the previous 17 games this post-season.