James van Riemsdyk was forced to temporarily leave Thursday night's game against the Rangers after a shot hit him in the face during a second-period power play opportunity.
The 31-year-old winger was able to return to the action early in the third period with a full face shield on his helmet.
With just over four minutes left in the middle stanza at Madison Square Garden, Travis Konecny fired a shot that deflected off of New York defenseman K'Andre Miller's stick and then struck van Riemsdyk in the face. The puck ended up ricocheting into the net for a goal as the Flyers tied the game at 1-1.
After going down on the ice in pain, van Riemsdyk was able to slowly get back to his feet on his own power and head to the tunnel for evaluation.
Impressively, van Riemsdyk then gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with a deflection in front during a third-period power play opportunity. The Flyers went on to beat the Rangers, 3-2, in large thanks to van Riemsdyk coming back after undergoing X-rays.
"Thankfully it looks like it's all good for now," van Riemsdyk said postgame. "That's part of the job description for me as far as being in front of the net, there's lots of chaos there and stuff like that. I've been pretty lucky for most of my career where I haven't really taken too many pucks up high like that. Ultimately, you want to try to get out there and help the team and do what you can."
His return was good to see for the sake of van Riemsdyk's health and to continue his strong season, which was fueled by a fast start. Van Riemsdyk leads the Flyers in points (37) and goals (16). He has nine goals on the power play, which puts him top 10 in the NHL and tied with Alex Ovechkin.
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