The Washington Capitals defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Thursday. Though the score might suggest that it was a easy two-goal victory, the game was closer than you might think. In a pivotal moment, Capitals left wing Daniel Winnik put his body on the line to preserve his team's lead.
During a Panthers power play down 3-2 in the third period, Winnik sprawled out on the ice, attempting to block a Panthers player's shot. The block attempt worked in that he stopped the shot, but the consequences were severe.
Instead of sliding properly and blocking the puck with his shin pads, Winnik slid past the puck's trajectory and didn't turn his head quickly enough. The puck hit his helmet, but it also got a piece of his ear. The slapshot caused a small piece of his ear to fall off.
— CSN Capitals (@CSNCapitals) October 21, 2016
Barry Trotz said Daniel Winnik lost a little piece of his ear when the puck hit him in the head. Seriously.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 21, 2016
Winnik is the only Capitals player who does not wear a visor. Luckily the injury was not worse. "You didn't know what was going to happen, and really, he got the puck sort of in the ear hole and it sort of pinched off his ear," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after the game. "Trainers looked at him, and he was fine, just missing a piece of his ear. It got chewed up a bit. It's just a small piece, but it got chewed up."
Maybe it wasn't the best idea to put his body on the line for a game so early in the season. But his team got the win and he seems to be OK.
For everybody who's asking, Dan is doing well and we are fortunate there was no serious injury
— Taylor Winnik (@taytayruness) October 21, 2016
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock