April 17 (UPI) -- A facial fracture ended Zach Werenski's season Sunday in the first round of the NHL playoffs. But his attitude is the stuff of NHL legends.
The Columbus Blue Jackets rookie took to social media Sunday night to post a simple message with a picture of his bruised and scarred face: "Playoff hockey..."
He was hurt in the second period when Pittsburgh Penguins' Phil Kessel shot the puck. It went up Werenski's stick and hit him in the face. Blood smeared on the ice as he skated to the bench. The defenseman returned to the game briefly for the third period but sat out in overtime.
"I'm just proud of the leadership he showed coming back and trying to play and make a difference. It speaks to the maturity of the kid. He's a warrior. I'm proud of him," Tortorella told NHL.com.
He finished his season with 11 goals and 49 points as a finalist for the Calder Trophy.
Werenski's Blue Jackets trail the Penguins 0-3 in the series.
Game 4 is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.