Ice hockey players have always been known as a tough breed and Columbus Blue Jackets star Zach Werenski proved he is no exception.

Werenski took a puck to the face from almost point-blank range, before being escorted off the ice, dripping with blood.

A few stitches later, with his right eye turning a nasty shade of purple, the defenceman made his way back into play against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As if his injury didn't sting enough, while Werenski was momentarily down clutching his bloody face, the opposition took advantage of his absence to score.

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Initially he went down, dropping his stick to the ice as he lay prone for a couple of seconds, before taking himself out for medical assistance.

With the minimum of fuss, Werenski applied a towel to halt the bleeding, before being escorted down the tunnel.

He shared a picture on his Twitter after the game, during which he scored, and his followers were treated to look at his bruised face and enlarged nose.

The caption the 19-year-old added to his snap was: "Playoff hockey", as if those words were explanation enough.

To make matters worse for Werenski, his Blue Jackets side were beaten 5-4 in overtime.

Despite the side from Columbus taking an early 3-1 lead, the Pens stormed back to put themselves into a 3-0 lead in their first-round NHL Eastern Conference playoff series.