The Washington Times - April 23, 2011, 03:51PM

It’s scary to see any hockey player block a shot like that. Even scarier when it’s a guy who suffered a concussion just two months ago and was hit in the ear with a puck only weeks earlier.

That’s what happened to the Capitals’ Mike Green on Saturday afternoon. He was sliding to block a shot from Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy when the puck hit him square in the face. Replays showed screws popping off Green’s helmet.

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Green, who wears a protective visor, was down on the ice for about a minute before getting up to loud applause and skating off the ice and down the tunnel.

The Caps said at the start of the second that Green was being evaluated and his return was deemed “questionable.” It was unknown whether the NHL’s new concussion protocol was used, which would require the All-Star defenseman to spend 15 minutes in a “quiet room” if showing any symptoms.

In early February, Green took a shot to the ear from Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik. And on Feb. 25 he suffered a concussion as a result of a hit from New York’s Derek Stepan.

Recently, coach Bruce Boudreau was asked about ever getting hit in the head by a shot. (That day Green declined to discuss it.)

“Probably. But I don’t know if it was ever to the extent of how hard Mike was,” Boudreau said. “We never knew in the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s what concussions were. It was just headaches and we’d play.”

Green, whom Boudreau complained earlier this series was being targeted by Rangers players, scored the Caps’ first goal Saturday - a power-play marker and his first of the playoffs.

“I think he gets better and better and better every game. He missed 26 out of 28 games there,” Boudreau said earlier Saturday. “He’s being responsible. He’s doing everything we ask him to. If he scores he scores, if he doesn’t he doesn’t. But there’s a real chance eventually one of those shots is going to go in.”