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Niklas Hjalmarsson can't talk after puck to throat, will still play Game 3

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck to the throat. (Getty Images)
Niklas Hjalmarsson after taking a puck to the throat. (Getty Images)

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Only in the Stanley Cup playoffs would this be considered "OK."

In Game 2 of the Blackhawks-Wild series, Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck square to the throat. He left the game briefly but returned for his next shift, amazingly. He'll also be returning for Game 3 on Tuesday night.

So everything's good, right? He avoided any damage at all? Not exactly.

Sure, he's fine. Who needs to be able to speak anyway?

Really though, if he's physically OK other than the rather big detail of having the ability to really talk right now -- for a few weeks even -- it makes sense that he might play. What's stunning, though, is that he didn't miss any time in Game 2 after taking a shot to the throat, one that was so bad it caused him to lose his voice.

Here's a look at the original play (via @MyRegularFace).

Ho hum, just another day at the office.

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