Hurricanes’ Justin Williams scores with face, then scores with stick
Go to the net and good things will happen. Coaches tell players that all the time with the hope that good positioning will result in a goal. Justin Williams learned that the hard way Thursday night, joining a club that Connor Garland of the Arizona Coyotes entered earlier this season.
As the Carolina Hurricanes continue chasing one of the Eastern Conference’s wild card spots, they visited the Florida Panthers and opened the scoring in unusual fashion.
Just a few minutes into the first period, Brett Pesce sent a shot toward the Panthers’ net and it ended up deflecting off Williams’ face and past James Reimer into the Florida net. Williams, as you see, crumpled to the ice in a scary scene.
Justin Williams on his face goal: "Thank God it was Pesce. If it was anyone else I probably would have broken my jaw."— Michael Smith (@MichaelSmithNC) February 22, 2019
Williams would leave the game with blood dripping from his face and return only a few minutes. Later in the game the Hurricanes captain, with a nostril full of gauze, would use his stick to score and snap a 3-3 tie:
That second goal would stand as the winner and give the Hurricanes a 4-3 victory and help them move past the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Eastern Conference’s final wild card.