Stamkos takes puck in face, leaves Game 7 briefly

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BOSTON (AP) - Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos was hit in the face by a puck and briefly left Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Bruins early in the second period on Friday night.

Stamkos was hit on the left side of the head off a hard shot from the right point by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk and he immediately dropped to the ice. The referee waved for the trainer, but Stamkos got off and skated quickly to the Lightning bench, holding his face. There was some blood on the ice.

He was out for about five minutes of game time, then returned with a full cage face shield in place of the visor he had been wearing.

The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008, Stamkos tied for the NHL lead in goals last season and was second this season. He has six goals and seven assists in the previous 17 games this postseason.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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