Hockey Tough: Former Capitals Defenseman Matt Niskanen Gets Hit in the Face By a Shot, Returns to Game Action

Photo: Philadelphia Flyers

For five seasons, defenseman Matt Niskanen patrolled the Washington Capitals’ blueline, and was a key component of the Caps’ 2018 Stanley Cup victory. Signed as a free agent in the summer of 2014, Niskanen was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for fellow rearguard Radko Gudas this summer as a result of salary cap constraints by the Caps. During his five seasons, Niskanen established himself as a no-nonsense, two-way defenseman and was one of the team’s most valuable players. In Friday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, Niskanen proved just how tough hockey players can be

With the Red Wings in the offensive zone, Detroit’s Dennis Cholowski fired a puck from the point that ricocheted through traffic before hitting Niskanen in the face and then hitting the post. Niskanen would skate off under his own power before heading down the tunnel to the Philly locker room.

Niskanen would require some 15 stitches to his nose before returning to the Philadelphia bench. He would finish the game with two assists in a 6-1 rout of Detroit.

After the game, Niskanen told reporters, “It’s not as bad as it looks”. Niskanen has two goals, nine assists, and 11 points in 26 games played for Philadelphia this season. In 390 games played with the Caps, Niskanen recorded 29 goals and 156 points, with a plus-58 rating. After the victory, Niskanen was named the Flyers’ Player of the Game.

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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