CHICAGO - It takes more than a puck in the face to keep Duncan Keith off the ice for the Chicago Blackhawks—even when he loses seven teeth.
Chicago's top defenceman was hit by a puck off the stick San Jose's Patrick Marleau during the second period of Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Sharks that clinched the Western Conference title and a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Keith returned to the game and finished with a game-high 29 minutes, two seconds of ice time. He lost four bottom teeth and three more on top.
"You've got leave it all on the ice," Keith said after the game when he was headed for some major dental work. The team said Monday it had no update on Keith's condition.
"I felt a chunk of something back there and I figured it was a tooth. It wouldn't have been anything else," said Keith, who is a Norris Trophy finalist as the league's best defenceman.
"I saw some teeth falling out when I skated off and coughed one up. It sounds gross, but it happens all the time to guys. It could have been a lot worse. I could have got it in the jawbone."
Keith was able to return after getting some injections in his mouth to numb the pain and even got an assist on Dave Bolland's game-tying goal in the second.
"That's Duncs," said teammate John Madden. "He's crazy. He's a warrior. He's our leader. We knew Duncs would be back."