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Belanger loses half-dozen teeth on hit

WASHINGTON -- Capitals center Eric Belanger really is putting his -- well, his employer's -- money where his mouth is after losing a half-dozen or so teeth in a run-in with an opponent's stick.

Belanger says Saturday he "felt my teeth shatter, right away," when Canadiens defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron's stick hit him in the mouth in the first period of Montreal's 2-1 victory at Washington in Game 5 of their playoff series Friday night.

Belanger needed some serious dental work at the arena, getting exposed tooth roots trimmed -- then returned to the ice midway through the third period.

Explains Belanger: "I knew I was in trouble, but what are you going to do? It's the playoffs."

He expects to play in Game 6 at Montreal on Monday.