NHL player Johnny Boychuk has copped a skate to the face during the New York Islanders’ game against the Montreal Canadiens in frightening scenes.

The Islanders defenseman left the ice clutching his head after he came into contact with the skate of Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen midway through his team’s 6-2 loss on Tuesday local time.

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Both players were in front of the New York net when Lehkonen appeared to lose his balance and fall forward, causing his legs to kick back and his right skate to connect with Boychuk’s face as he looked downward.

Boychuk immediately went down to the ice with his hand covering his face, before skating off in pain.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz did not have an update on the veteran after the game.

“It’s pretty scary obviously around the facial/eye area. He’s being evaluated,” Trotz said.

Johnny Boychuk lies prone on the ice after the incident.

“I think he’ll be OK, but it doesn’t matter, it’s a scary situation,” team captain Anders Lee said. “You hate to see that happen. It happens quick, skate to the face. I think that’s where all our minds are right now for sure.”

When asked how these types of injuries can be avoided, the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck said: “I don’t know, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. I haven’t come up with a good answer yet. Just not fun to see that at all.”

Johnny Boychuk clutches his face.