UPDATED: 6/14/2013 3:50 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A fan hit in the face by a puck during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final received a nice surprise on Friday — well, two nice surprises.
First off, Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita dropped by Patricia Higgins’ Burr Ridge home, autographed a No. 21 sweater and visited for awhile. He wrote this message on the clothing: “Thanks for taking one for the team.”
The accident happened late in the third period Wednesday when Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya blasted the puck from center ice into the Bruins’ zone.
The puck ricocheted into the stands behind the Bruins’ goal — outside of the protective netting.
Higgins, who was at the game with her daughter, Caitlin, suffered some severe lacerations on her forehead and nose and two black eyes.
“I put my hand to my face because I could feel the blood coming down, and I just put my head down,” she recalls.
Higgins had surgery on Thursday afternoon and is expected to make a full recovery.
“I’m so lucky,” she says.
And now for the second nice surprise: the puck that hit her. Fellow fan Irv Kaage recovered it and is making arrangements to give her the memento, which is emblazoned with a “Stanley Cup Final” logo. Kaage, an Elk Grove businessman and season ticket-holder, sits in front of Higgins.
“We’ll have a different bond between us, and I’m very thankful for that,” Kaage tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
The two made tentative plans to meet at Game 7 (assuming the Stanley Cup Final goes the distance), though Higgins said she might be well enough to attend a Game 5.
“I’ll probably be wearing a big helmet,” she said, laughing.