Red Wings forward Brendan Perlini grateful facial injury wasn't worse

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Newark, N.J. — There was some stark perspective Wednesday night at dinner for Brendan Perlini.

While Perlini was nursing a nasty laceration around his nose and right eye that required about 22 stitches after a scary incident during Tuesdays game, talking with his friend, who was in the Army, put everything in perspective.

Red Wings forward Brendan Perlini is helped off the ice by a trainer and forward Dylan Larkin (71) during the first period Tuesday in Buffalo, New York.

“I come away from the game and you’re grateful for those little things,” said Perlini, who caught the skate of Buffao’s Henri Jokiharju with his face, but escaped serious injury. “He’s (Perlini’s friend) seen guys get shot and killed, and for me, I have a cut on my nose and I’m very grateful to wake up and do everything I can do and live a normal life.

“There’s many people who go through a lot worse than this and have a lot more things going on than this.”

Perlini and Jokiharju — who happened to be teammates in Chicago last season — collided along the boards. While Jokiharju was toppling over, his skate blade brushed against Perlini’s face, as Perlini’s helmet was being knocked off.

“It kind of happened so fast,” Perlini said. “I’ve watched the replay once. I kind of turned to get the puck in, I don’t know if I lost an edge, but I was kind of falling over and got tangled and Joki is there and he was going down also, and he kind of at the last second kicked his skate up or something.

“I don’t know what I felt. It was quick. For me, I was concerned about my eye, that was the main thing.”

There is no concern about a concussion, or any injury to the eye — just some present discomfort in the nostrils.

“Stuffed up a lot,” Perlini said.

Perlini met up with Jokiharju after the game, to make sure to alleviate any fears Jokiharju had.

“It was just one of those things, man, you kind of get tangled up and he falls and I fall and there’s nothing (you can do about it),” Perlini said. “Obviously he didn’t do it on purpose, nothing like that. It’s completely a fluke thing, and you just try to heal up and get better from here.”

After the hit, Perlini’s initial reaction was to not open the eye. He said he didn’t open the eye until he got up, and that point, was relieved because, yes, he could see.

“I didn’t want to open it for however long I was laying on the ice,” Perlini said. “I felt like I couldn’t, and didn’t want to. I saw the blood, and I have a weak nose and I bleed a lot, and where there was hardly any blood, I kind of figured it can’t be the nose (that’s affected).

“But when I got up and I saw the eye was fine, I could see out of it pretty decent, I got up and they fixed the nose up right away.”

Interestingly, Perlini got hit on the nose about a month ago during pregame warm-ups, with the shot leaving a mark.

“Every year it seems like I have one area where it kind of keeps repeating, and getting hit,” Perlini said. “This year it seems to be the nose, but I hope that’s it for the rest of the year.”

Perlini had his billet family from junior hockey, who live nearby in St. Catharines, Ontario, at the game, so they provided a sense of relief and comfort.

Perlini’s parents were working and didn’t have the game immediately on.

“As soon as it happened, they got a lot of text message and they turned they game on quick,” Perlini said.

Perlini and the Wings say there is no timeline for a return to the lineup. Perlini’s eye is somewhat closed, so until that area gets better, there’s no sense speculating on a return.

“As soon as the eye heals up and I can see a lot better, you get back out there and go from there,” Perlini said. “I have to let it open it up a little bit better, then I can get back playing.”

Coach Jeff Blashill, also, was grateful that Perlini escaped what could have been a much more dangerous outcome.

"At first when it happened, you're real scared, I thought it might have clipped his eye," Blashill said. "Then he got up off the ice and it felt like it wasn't that, so you feel a lot better about it. I talked to him after the game and he looked, not perfect, but looked like he was in a good spot and he's in a good spot now.

"Of all the things that could have happened, he probably got lucky."

Ice chips

Blashill didn't reveal his lineup for Thursday, but forward Robby Fabbri (jaw), who was hurt Sunday against Boston and has missed one game, took part in the pregame skate and appeared ready to rejoin the lineup.

... Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who cleared waivers Wednesday, rejoined the Wings. Blashill said the move to waive Ericsson was done to give the Wings flexibility in case they need to send Ericsson to Grand Rapids, given roster limitations.

Twitter: @tkulfan