Panthers' Keith Yandle loses nine teeth, returns a period later

Thomas Williams
Hockey writer
Despite losing almost a third of his teeth, Florida Panthers defenceman Keith Yandle returned to Saturday's game after just a brief intermission. (Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Keith Yandle isn’t known as a fighter, but the Florida Panthers defenceman did fight tooth and nail to return to Saturday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

In the first period, an errant puck struck Yandle in the mouth and ended up knocking out nine of his teeth.

If there’s one sign to tell when something is serious, Yandle dropping his stick and spraying his gloves across the ice might be it.

He headed straight to the dressing room, but his night was not over. Following some quick dental work, the 33-year-old defenceman returned in the third period and will be playing on Sunday — completely unimaginable for the regular civilian.

Yandle simply wasn’t going to let the incident break his ironman streak for most consecutive regular season games played. Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres was his 821st straight — the longest active mark and currently fifth all-time in NHL history.

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You have to go all the way back to March of 2009 when the 14-year NHL veteran was playing for the Phoenix Coyotes to find the last game he missed.

And just in case you still believe the guy isn’t tough, Yandle went lid off for the Panthers warmup prior to Sunday’s contest.

He has scored two goals and 18 points through 23 games this season.

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