No eye damage for Isles’ Boychuk after skate to face

Johnny Boychuk
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk is expected to make a full recovery after receiving a skate near his eye during Tuesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters Wednesday that Boychuk required 90 stitches to close the wound after he was struck just above the eyelid.

“Johnny Boychuk is OK. There is no damage to his eye,” Lamoriello said. “… Fortunately (the skate blade) just got the eyelid. It took 90 stitches to fix. A plastic surgeon took care of it. … But he’ll be fine.”

Boychuk was checking Montreal forward Artturi Lehkonen from behind while both were in front of the Islanders’ net in the third period on Tuesday. Lehkonen fell forward and the heel of his right skate blade hit Boychuk, who was bent over slightly.

Boychuk immediately fell to the ice and clutched at his face in obvious pain. After a moment, Boychuk quickly got up, skated off the ice and headed straight to the locker room with medical personnel.

“My skate hit him in the face,” Lehkonen told reporters afterward. “I really hope it didn’t hit him in the eye or anything like that. But it was scary for sure. I felt it right away, that it hit somewhere high. So I just turned around, and I didn’t know really what to do.”

Boychuk, 36, has two goals and nine assists in 64 games this season.

Boychuk has spent the last six years with the Islanders after playing the previous six with the Boston Bruins. He has 54 goals and 152 assists in 725 career games with the Colorado Avalanche, Bruins and Islanders.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)