By the time Tucker Poolman stood up, there was a puddle of blood on the ice.
As he skated, hunched over, to the dressing room -- with a teammate on his left and a trainer on his right -- he left a stream of blood that took six arena workers to shovel off the Rogers Place ice in Edmonton.
It was the result of a puck to the face in the second period of Tuesday's Stanley Cup Playoff game between the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames.
Just as a Flames power play expired, forward Mikael Backlund got the puck between the circles and was going to have a Grade-A scoring chance. Poolman, the former East Grand Forks and UND defenseman, dove in front of it. The puck snuck underneath his visor and caught him on the right side of his face along his jawbone.
Play was whistled off and Poolman quickly left the ice.
"Tucker was really lucky he didn't lose any teeth," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "He's got some sutures there. He's got a giant-sized. . . five golf balls. He's got a huge welt on the side of his face."
But it didn't stop him from returning.
After the second intermission, Poolman re-entered the dressing room and played in the third period of Winnipeg's 6-2 loss to Calgary in Game 3.
Poolman started the third period wearing a cage on his helmet, similar to what he wore during his college years at UND. After a few minutes, he switched to a clear face shield.
"That's a great thing for your hockey team when he walks back into the locker room," Maurice said. "We were all concerned, really concerned, after he took that puck.
"He's becoming a man in the room. He's becoming an NHL veteran. When you do things like that, come back and play hard in the third period. . . he competed. . . we're lucky to have him."
Poolman played seven shifts in the third period and 4:11 of total ice time in the final frame. He played 11:49 in the game.
Poolman has been a consistent player for the Jets, pairing with Nathan Beaulieu on defense. He played in 57 regular-season games for Winnipeg, scoring four goals and tallying 12 points.
Poolman's Jets are now on the brink of elimination, down 2-1 to Calgary in a best-of-five series. They'll try to keep their season alive at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in Game 4 in the Edmonton hub.
Winnipeg has struggled with injuries in the series. The Jets played Games 2 and 3 without forwards Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine and Mason Appleton. In addition to Poolman's injury, forward Mathieu Perreault sustained an injury Tuesday and did not return.
Forbort also takes puck to face
Poolman, shockingly, wasn't the only former UND defenseman to take a puck to the face in the game.
Flames defenseman Derek Forbort, who played at UND from 2010-13, also got hit with the puck in the face in nearly the exact spot on the ice as Poolman.
Forbort's injury occurred with 6:22 left in the third period. He did not return to the game.
There was no immediate update on Forbort after the game.
Forbort, who was traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the Flames this season, played 15:35 for Calgary on Tuesday night.
Boeser scores first playoff goal
Brock Boeser's first-career NHL goal came against the Minnesota Wild.
Boeser's first-career NHL playoff goal came against the Minnesota Wild.
The former UND star from Burnsville, Minn., continued to haunt his hometown team for passing on him in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Boeser's goal came at 8:42 of the second period and gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead. Vancouver hung on to win 4-3 to even the best-of-five series at 1-1.
"Personally, it felt pretty good," Boeser said. "Not as much nerves (as Game 1). I think our team played a lot better. I thought we weren't nervous. We showed up tonight knowing we needed to get a win and we did that. That's huge for our group, so hopefully we can continue this success."
On Boeser's goal, Canucks defenseman Alex Edler launched a point shot that Elias Pettersson deflected in front. the puck trickled to the side of the net, where Boeser slammed it home.
With Tyler Toffoli out due to injury, Boeser was moved back together with his old linemates, Pettersson and J.T. Miller.
"I'm excited to get back with those guys," Boeser said. "I thought we played a pretty strong game. We've got to clean up a few mistakes defensively, but other than that, I thought we played pretty strong."
On the Minnesota side, former UND forward Zach Parise finished with an assist while suiting up for his 99th career Stanley Cup Playoff game.
Game 3 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Grimaldi assists in Preds win
Former UND forward Rocco Grimaldi has been a prime playoff performer for the Nashville Predators recently.
He led the team in goals during the 2019 playoffs and he got on the scoresheet with an assist in Nashville's 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. With the win, the best-of-five series is tied 1-1.
Grimaldi's assist came on the game's first goal. He collected the puck behind the net and fed former Boston University standout Nick Bonino, who snapped a shot home at 7:50 of the first period. The Predators never trailed in the game.
Grimaldi has three goals and four points in seven playoff games as a Predator.
Game 3 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
- Former UND forward Nick Schmaltz of the Arizona Coyotes was held out once again with an injury he sustained on a hit to the head by Vegas forward Ryan Reaves during an exhibition game last week.
- Former UND forward Brock Nelson and the New York Islanders are one win away from advancing past the qualifying series. The Islanders took a 2-0 series lead over the Florida Panthers in their best-of-five matchup. The Islanders won 4-2 on Tuesday in Game 2. Nelson played 18:11 but didn't register any points.
- Dave Hakstol's Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 to even their best-of-five series 1-1. Auston Matthews and John Tavares scored for the Maple Leafs, while Morgan Rielly finished it with an empty-net goal.
11 a.m. -- New York Islanders (Brock Nelson) vs. Florida Panthers, NBC Sports (Islanders lead series 2-0).
1:30 p.m. -- Arizona Coyotes (Nick Schmaltz) vs. Nashville Predators (Rocco Grimaldi), NHL Network (Series tied 1-1).
3 p.m. -- Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins, NBC Sports (Round-robin game).
5:30 p.m. -- Colorado Avalanche (Tyson Jost) vs. Dallas Stars, NHL Network (Round-robin game).
7 p.m. -- Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens, NBC Sports (Series tied 1-1).
9:30 p.m. -- Chicago Blackhawks (Jonathan Toews, Drake Caggiula) vs. Edmonton Oilers (Dave Tippett), NBC Sports (Series tied 1-1).