Chad Johnson played last 7 1/2 minutes of second period with one contact lens
|01.17.14 at 12:44 am ET|
DALLAS — When Stars forward Alex Chiasson went for a wraparound at 12:28 in the second period Thursday night, the result wasn’t pretty for Chad Johnson.
While that might seem like the same old story given Johnson’s difficulty with wraparounds, it was far different. Chiasson didn’t score, but Johnson got hit in the eye with Zdeno Chara‘s stick in front, leaving the backup goaltender bloodied, confused and, as he would later find out, down a contact lens.
Chara’s stick went through Johnson’s mask, cut him just below the eye and rode up over it. Johnson fell to the ice in pain, and when trainer Don DelNegro came to the ice to tend to him, he took off his mask to reveal both a bloodied face and a look that was half confusion and half fear.
“I had a feeling it was his stick or somebody’s stick, because I could feel the blade hit and kind of flip up and kind of jab and flip up on my eye, so I knew it was a stick,” Johnson said after the Bruins’ 4-2 win over Dallas. “It happened so fast, and it was just a scary, scary kind of feeling.”
Johnson stayed in the game, though his vision was blurry. He couldn’t see well out of his left eye, and he assumed that Chara had scratched his contact. Johnson, who has played with contact lenses since he was in college (at least six or seven years, by his estimation), figured he would play with the busted contact for the rest of the period.
“I knew there was only about seven minutes or something [left],” Johnson said, “so I just kind of said ‘screw it’ and then threw it in during the intermission.”
When he got to the dressing room at intermission, he realized there was no contact there at all, and that it had been knocked out altogether. That would explain the difficulty he had seeing out of the eye until the intermission.
Blurry vision or not, Johnson was strong for the B’s in his first start in nearly a month (Dec. 19). He allowed two goals, with the first coming on an unlucky bounce in which a Tyler Seguin pass to Erik Cole on the power play bounced off a falling Cole’s stick and went up and over his shoulder. The other goal came from Jamie Benn in front with 1:11 remaining. Johnson finished with 32 saves on 34 shots, with a nice cut to show for it.
“I didn’t know how serious he was, but he just came back and had the little cut there [below] his eye, but he was good tonight,” Claude Julien said. “I thought he played a real solid game and was square to the puck all night long, so it was a good outing for him.”