FRISCO, Texas -- After two days off, the Dallas Stars were back on the ice for a practice session Tuesday morning and defenseman Nicklas Grossman was wearing a full cage. It was a reminder of the close call he had in Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils. So was the gash on his right cheek and swelling around it.
That close call came in the third period of the Stars' 3-1 win over the Devils at American Airlines Center as Grossman got tangled up with New Jersey forward Dainius Zubrus in front of the Dallas net.
"He fell and his skate came up and cut me," Grossman said. "I was lucky. It could have caught an eye, but it caught a good spot."
A bloodied Grossman headed off to the locker room, where team doctors repaired the damage.
"It's a good thing our doctors were at the game and got him stitched up really good," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.
It took a total of 60 stitches to close the wound, according to Grossman.
"It was pretty deep, so they had to start from the inside to get all the muscles and everything that was cut," Grossman said. "It felt sore the day after, but it feels fine."
The Dallas defenseman, who isn't expected to miss any time with the injury, said he will wear the full cage until the wound has a chance to heal.
"I don't want any stitches to pop early because then you have to do everything again," he said. "I'm just wearing it for precautionary reasons and once everything heals up I'll probably take it off."
He doesn't wear a visor and isn't sure it would have helped in this case. He's not sure if he'll wear a visor in the future because he is so used to playing without one. He did say his mother will have a different opinion on the visor issue.
For now, he just considers himself lucky.
"It's always (scary) when you get skates up there," he said. "Pucks and that you are not really worried about, but when skates up there. ... Things can happen. I am just lucky it wasn't worse."
Mark Stepneski covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com.