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Devils Player Bloodied After Check

May 23, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ New Jersey Devils center Sergei Nemchinov needed 40 stitches after he was bloodied early in the second period of Monday night’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals when he was checked into the boards and struck a metal partition with his head.

Nemchinov was skating near the penalty box when Philadelphia’s John LeClair drove him into the boards with a forearm. The glass shook, and before it could settle back into place Nemchinov ran into the metal support.

After receiving on-ice treatment, Nemchinov, with a bloody towel covering his face, was able to skate off under his own power. A Devils spokesman said Nemchinov took the stitches to the left side of his head.

``Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt,″ LeClair said. ``The glass kind of split on him.″

LeClair had his own bloody moment in Game 3 when he was struck in the face by the stick of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. LeClair, who was hit near his eye as Brodeur followed through on a clearing attempt, needed 39 stitches.

``You hate to see things like that,″ Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko said. ``It’s a scary thing when you see players go down like that. We’ve seen a lot of that this series. There’s no love lost out there. Guys are playing hard on both sides and that’s playoff hockey.″

LeClair has worn a partial face shield the past two games and has not missed any action, despite a large area of discoloration outside the eye and redness inside.

``John LeClair is as tough and honest a player as I’ve played against,″ Daneyko said. ``I think he was even concerned, but that’s playoff hockey. It’s the Eastern Conference finals and guys are playing hard and seems like guys are going down like flies.″

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