TAMPA — When Lightning star Marty St. Louis rejoined his teammates Saturday on a plane ride back from Philadelphia, he knew he had to put Dominic Moore's mind at ease.
Moore's errant backhand shot during Thursday's morning skate broke St. Louis' nose, bloodied his face, swelled his left eye so he could not see and knocked him out of a game with the Rangers that would have been his 500th in a row.
So, when St. Louis saw Moore he gave him a hug.
"Anybody would feel terrible," St. Louis said Monday. "I talked to him. There was nothing he could do."
"I couldn't wait to see him, I felt so bad," Moore said. "I gave him a hug and he gave me a hug. I'm grateful he's been forgiving. He's a class act."
St. Louis said he has no idea when he can start skating. It all depends on how quickly the blood drains from his eye, and coach Guy Boucher said he doesn't expect St. Louis back before Christmas.
His eye is partly open, though there is black and blue around it. He wore a bandage over his nose and has stitches in his left eyebrow.
All in all, St. Louis said, it could have been worse.
"When that one hit me I knew I was in trouble because I couldn't see out of my eye," he said of the moment of impact. "Panic set in a little bit. I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of what just happened."
"I was scared," he added. "I don't know if it was anxiety, I just felt very, very sick before I got to the hospital. You have a lot going through your mind."
By Friday, which he spent at his Greenwich, Conn., home with wife Heather, St. Louis said his eye began to open. By Saturday, it opened more.
He said he should eventually be fine. He also seriously is considering wearing a visor.
"You just want to know he's okay," Moore said. "That's the main thing."
"It's not his fault," St. Louis said. "Of course, the guy who shoots the puck usually feels the blame a lot more than the guy who takes it."