Flames pair grin and bear it

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

The next day, it was obvious Anders Eriksson made out better than teammate Eric Nystrom.

In Tuesday night's loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, both Eriksson and Nystrom were hit in the face by pucks within moments of each other.

Nystrom definitely looked the worse for wear after yesterday's practice.

One of his front teeth was chipped. Two of them were actually bent back to the roof of his mouth, and he needed a wire across his top teeth to hold them in place.

He also needed three stitches on his top lip -- one on the bottom and two more on his gum. A couple of root canals are scheduled for after the club's three-game road trip that begins Sunday.

"Not fun, but every hockey player's had it," Nystrom said yesterday.

By comparison, Eriksson's injuries were minor.

"He's got a big mouth -- in so many ways," Eriksson said with a laugh.

"I was trying to go down and block, and as soon as I got down, I saw the puck sit up on his blade and wasn't quick enough to get my face away from it.

"I've got a face for radio to start with, so it's not a bad thing."

Eriksson's damage was mostly limited to his left cheek. He didn't require any stitches, with bandage strips enough to seal a couple of cuts.

"It's like old leather, just stretch it and glue it together," the defenceman quipped. "The nose is a little banged up, but it's not the first time."

Eriksson was hurt when he dove on his stomach on the ice, lunging out to intercept a pass. Instead, the pass drilled him right in the face.

"Hey, saved a goal," he pointed out.

Nystrom was victimized by a stranger play. As he was forechecking, a Coyotes defender shot the puck right into his face.

"I was hoping he was going to go off the glass," Nystrom said. "I was standing there like (a goalie), face-first right in front of him, and you could see it coming. You can't avoid it. It just happened so fast and ended up dead-on.

"I was afraid to take my mouth guard out because I thought the teeth would be inside it."


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