NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After being sidelined for the final four games of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, Nick Bonino of the Pittsburgh Penguins donned his gear and skates to hoist the Cup and celebrate his team's second straight championship.
But just doing that proved arduous as Bonino confirmed after the Penguins' Cup win against the Nashville Predators that he sustained a broken tibia in his left leg during Game 2 of the series.
The injury occurred after Bonino blocked a slap shot from P.K. Subban in the first period. After laying on all fours on the ice following the block, he rushed to the locker room. He returned for a shift toward the end of that period before proceeding to play an additional 11:52 in Game 2, which the Penguins won, 4-1.
Bonino was described by Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan as a game-time decision the rest of the series and speculation swirled he might return to the lineup after the Penguins' center skated with teammates before Game 4. As it turns out, he was never close to returning.
"The tibia is cracked all the way through. I think people assumed when I tried it that it was getting better but it was getting worse," Bonino said. "I just wanted to see. If there was one chance to do it we would try. Put a lot of medicine into it and wasn't able to push off like I wanted too."
Bonino's appearance in Pittsburgh's on-ice celebration after the Penguins clinched the title with a 2-0 win in Game 6 was made largely possible by an injection to help dull the pain in his leg. By the time he was celebrating a second straight title, the pain didn't seem to bother him at all.
"We got a little medicine in it too. I've never been shot up for a celebration, but I was tonight," Bonino said. "We'll enjoy it and go from here. It was definitely worth it."