Bloody Johnson covers blind spot for B's
January, 17, 2014
By Todd Wills | ESPN.com
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsChad Johnson got cut near his eye and lost a contact lens but gutted out Boston's 4-2 win in Dallas.DALLAS -- Bruins backup goaltender Chad Johnson had much bigger issues on Thursday night than starting for the first time since Dec. 19, when he lost to the Buffalo Sabres. Or having to replace slumping starter Tuukka Rask against a pretty good offensive team in the Dallas Stars.
Try playing goalie for nearly eight minutes of the second period with only one contact lens in.
Johnson was bloodied under his left eye when the blade of captain Zdeno Chara's stick poked through his mask and cut him, at the 12:28 mark of the period. Johnson went to the ice in pain, yet managed to stop Alex Chiasson's wraparound attempt. Johnson was then treated by Bruins trainer Don DelNegro. He stayed in the game, making several more big saves.
Johnson revealed after the game that he unknowingly played without his left contact in his eye for part of the second period. DelNegro told him the lens was still in, but when Johnson got back to the visitor's locker room after the second intermission, he found out it was gone and replaced it with a spare.
"It was just a little blurry," said Johnson, who stopped 32 shots on the night. "It wasn't too severe where I couldn't play without it. I had backups [lenses]. I always bring a couple in case something like that happens."
Johnson's huge effort helped the Bruins slowly take over the game. The first goal of the night wasn't scored until 4 seconds were left in the second period when David Krejci slipped the puck past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.
That Johnson was able to shut down the Stars for the first 41 minutes paved the way to Boston's 30th win of the season.
"He played huge," Bruins center Brad Marchand said. "He made a lot of big saves at the right time and he did a great job of staying composed and battling through that eye injury and he did a great job tonight."
Johnson did allow a power-play goal just 1:18 into third period when Erik Cole scored on a tip-in to tie the game at 1-1.
Marchand answered 2 minutes later when Cole turned the puck over.
"Bergeron did a nice job on the forecheck and poked it out, and I just wanted to take it to the net and I had a lane and luckily it went in," said Marchand, who slipped the go-ahead goal under Lehtonen's pads.
Milan Lucic, who assisted on Krejci's goal, scored on a tip to make it 3-1 with less than 5 minutes left in the game. Stars captain Jamie Benn cut the Bruins' lead to 3-2 with 1:11 remaining before Bergeron clinched the win with an empty netter 27 seconds later.
Boston's best players produced, and Johnson, who gave Rask a much needed break, came up big -- with and without good vision.
"I felt pretty good throughout the night," Johnson said. "They came pretty hard, getting pucks to the net and trying to hit guys wide and our guys did a good job of boxing out and battling with them in front. And it was really good effort overall. It was good to get the two points."