Mitch Marner says he wasn't concerned about shielding his face as he blocked a pair of shots in the dying seconds of the Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 victory in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins on Monday night.
"I mean, there's dentists for a reason, so whatever," Marner told the media, including TSN, at practice Tuesday. "Luckily enough, it didn't hit me in the face, but it could have been a tough result if it had."
"I was already down there, I was right in front of him," added Marner. "I knew if (the puck) got in there, it was going to be kind of a tough shot for (Maple Leafs goaltender) Freddie (Andersen) to save. It was going to be low and hard, and I didn't know what would happen, so I just tried to sprawl out as much as possible. (I) put my arms out and lucky enough, it hit me."
Marner's teammates appreciated his efforts.
"Just a guy doing whatever it takes to keep the puck out of the net," Jake Muzzin said. "We need everybody to (have) that mentality and that mindset, so it was awesome to see (Monday) night."
John Tavares agreed.
"When you see a guy sacrificing their body to make a play that's obviously going to help the team, and there's some pain that obviously comes with that, no question, especially a guy like Mitch that obviously plays a big role for our team ... (to see him) make a key play there gives everyone a big boost, especially when it's able to help solidify a victory," he said.
Marner logged more ice time in Game 3 than all skaters for both clubs except Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly, and Bruins blue-liners Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy. His defense in the game is what stood out, but he also fired five shots on goal and notched an assist on Auston Matthews' second-period marker.