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Boychuk dives to block a shot.... with his freaking face!

That's gotta hurt.

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You have to love the kind of heart and effort that was displayed here.

On Saturday afternoon the New York Islanders were facing off against their interstate rivals the New York Rangers in a match up that always manages to produce excitement regardless of how either of the two teams is currently playing in a National Hockey League regular season. This game appears to be no exception and although both teams were held off the scoreboard after 20 minutes of action in the game that did little to dampen the excitement of the contest.

In fact the Rangers had a series of terrific scoring chances in the closing seconds of the game's very 1st period and likely would have scored in fact if it were not for the heroics of defenseman Johnny Boychuk and some of his Islanders' teammates. Now to be fair several people came up big on this sequence of shots but Boychuk's heroics will stick out to you here for very obvious reasons. 

The Rangers had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first when veteran Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad used a wrap around to create what seemed like a terrific scoring chance for himself. Zibanejad was unable to capitalize but the puck got loose and found it's way onto the stick of veteran Rangers forward Chris Kreider who was left all alone in between both face off circles. It was a perfect scoring chance for Kreider but the huge mass of bodies from the Islanders in front of the net, all of whom were clearly trying to block the shot, was too much for him to get a shot through. 

Just seconds later however the puck would come loose again, this time on the side of the Islanders net, and it was once again Kreider who pounced on the opportunity to create a scoring chance for himself. That is when Boychuk stepped it up big time, seeing Kreider looking at an open space in the net Boychuk likely reacted before even thinking and sacrificed his body to block the shot. He was successful in his attempt, although you may not want to call it that, however he blocked the shot with his freaking face of all things.

Ouch.