Coyotes’ Garland scores goal off face, bleeds profusely, returns to game
Scoring a goal in the NHL should bring joy, but it brought on a different emotion Saturday for Arizona Coyotes forward Conor Garland — pain.
Garland scored off his face — yes, his face — in the second period of the Coyotes’ road game against the Edmonton Oilers.
The rookie was cross-checked by the Oilers’ Adam Larsson right before defenseman Jordan Oesterle attempted a wrist shot, which caught a frazzled Garland on the right side of the face and trickled into the back of the net.
Garland immediately went down to the ice following the goal and bled profusely before momentarily leaving the game.
Right place, right time? Going to have to ask Connor Garland about that one as he takes one off his face to the back of the net. But he’s a hockey player, smiles as he heads to the locker room for stitches, he’ll be alright! @ArizonaCoyotes up 2-1 pic.twitter.com/YDzcvLR9Mm
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) January 13, 2019
Hockey players are tough, though, and Garland returned to the bench before the end of the second period after receiving stitches.
“The puck hits me right in the face and I’m just wondering what in God’s name happened,” Garland said after the second period in an interview with Fox Sports Arizona. “Then, somebody told me I scored so that’s what I figured hit me, the puck.”
“I was bleeding pretty good.”
It was good for the Coyotes that Garland returned to the game.
Garland added his second goal of the game less than three minutes into the third period.
He’s scored goals in four straight games, tying a franchise rookie record.