Kevin Hayes (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
New York Rangers rookie Kevin Hayes was forced to play dentist after catching the stick of Capitals winger Joel Ward in the face. On the bench in the third period, Hayes stood up and pulled his tooth out with his bare hands.
Wednesday's Game 7 between Washington and New York was one of the most thrilling games of the post-season thus far, but for the Rangers' Kevin Hayes, there was one moment that turned out to be the most painful.
In the third period of Game 7, Hayes had crossed the Washington blueline and fallen on his side. While falling to the ice, the stick of Capitals winger Joel Ward caught Hayes square in the mouth and left him clutching his face. As soon as he headed to the bench, Hayes started in on some self-dental work. Take a look:
It's not so much that Hayes is pulling out his own tooth -- which, honestly, few among us would ever have the stomach to do -- but the expressionless reaction when he pulls it out of his mouth. How he doesn't yelp in pain, we'll never know. Professional athletes are a different brand of tough, you could say.
Hopefully for Hayes, people don't remember his Game 7 only for his tooth-pulling antics but for his game-tying goal on the power play earlier in the contest. The 23-year-old rookie may only have two goals and three points in 12 games this post-season, but he's been impressive even without finding the score sheet. If losing the tooth makes him lighter on his skates, then we're sure he's all for it.