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New York Islanders General Manager Johnny Boychuk told reporters on Wednesday that defenseman Johnny Boychuk is “okay” after forward Arturri Lehkonen’s skate hit him near the eyelid with nearly 11 minutes remaining the team’s 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
— Brian Heyman (@bheyman99) March 4, 2020
Both players were in front of the Islanders net when Lehkonen appeared to lose his balance and fall forward, causing his legs to kick back and right skate to connect with Boychuk’s face since it was tilted downward.
Boychuk immediately went down to the ice with his hand covering his face, before skating off in pain.
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz told the media that he was still being evaluated during his postgame press conference.
The 36-year-old defenseman had to get 90 stitches by a plastic surgeon.
Boychuk Injury Update from Lou Lamoriello: “Johnny Boychuk is ok. Fortunately the skate blade just got the eyelid. It took 90 stitches for a plastic surgeon to fix. But he’ll be fine.” #Isles pic.twitter.com/vYfsx9MAYO
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 4, 2020
“He had quite a night. … He felt the skate blade hit his eye, but fortunately, it just got the eyelid and they took 90 stitches to fix,” Lamoriello said. “He’ll be fine. It’s just a matter of time with the eye-opening up.”
Lamoriello also told reporters that there is no timetable for Boychuk to return and that rookie Noah Dobson will replace him. He added that Thomas Hickey might be called up from the AHL’s Bridgeport Soundtigers on an emergency basis because a couple of other defensemen are banged up.
By Harrison Brown