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Nick Foligno has an old-time hockey kind of day for Bruins

BOSTON -- Being an NHL player has its perks. It also has a drawback or two -- like, say, the occasional run-in with some blunt force trauma. In a game with sticks, pucks and elbows played on a sheet of ice at a rapid speed, the infliction of pain is a part of the job.

Veteran Nick Foligno has been around long enough to know the way things work. But that probably didn't make it any easier for him to deal with a puck to the face at Monday's morning skate, an unfortunate break that left him leaking blood all over the ice at Amalie Arena in Tampa. 

Foligno, 35, is a hockey player, though, so of course he suited up to play against the Lightning on Monday night.

And because the hockey gods tend to keep a watchful eye over the sport, Foligno was rewarded with a doorstep goal as part of a 5-3 Bruins victory.

Foligno took that puck to the face while occupying the spot in front of the net on the power play. It was a rough scene, no doubt ...

... but few, if any, doubted that Foligno would be ready to go by 7 p.m.

"Yeah, he's gonna need stitches. He's a hockey player," head coach Jim Montgomery said after the morning skate. "They don't come much tougher than him. He'll be fine."

Foligno's goal wasn't just window dressing, either. The Bruins were badly outplayed in the opening minutes of Monday's game, getting outshot 9-0 to start the game before Tampa finally took a 1-0 lead on home ice. It looked like one of those games where one team just wasn't fit to compete.

But the 2022 Bruins tend to not have those nights. David Krejci ripped a slap shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy late in the first period (a throwback goal if there ever was one), evening the score at 1-1.

Then early in the second, unbothered by the events from earlier in the day, Foligno was right back in front of the net, screening Vasilevskiy while standing in front of a Pavel Zacha slap shot from 40 feet out. Foligno managed to get out of the way of that one, doing plenty to distract Vasilevskiy from making a clean save. Foligno found the rebound before the goalie could, and he reached out while diving to bat the puck into the net to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. 

The Bruins never trailed again, as Charlie Coyle scored 31 seconds later, followed by Brad Marchand's tally, which welcomed the full-team celebration onto the ice for Patrice Bergeron's 1,000th career point.

Nick Foligno
Nick Foligno celebrates his goal vs. the Lightning. Mike Carlson/NHLI via Getty Images

It was quite the day for Foligno, who's now up to 11 points on the year after registering just 13 all of last year in what was a disappointing debut season in Boston. This year, he's contributing on the ice, and he's leading off the ice as a critical member of the locker room. Sometimes, that involves a little bit of old-time hockey.

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