An improving David Clarkson left his mark for a coast-to-coast national television audience to see on Saturday night, both on the scoreboard and on Mikhail Grabovski’s bloodied face.

For all those worry-warts out there who were fretting en masse when Clarkson failed to hit the back of the net during his first 10 outings as a Maple Leaf, a collective sigh of relief should be coming out of their mouths now that the Mimico native is scoring, hitting and irking other teams with his in-your-face style of play.

“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable,” Clarkson said after his second goal in the past three games helped the Leafs to a 2-1 shootout victory over Grabovski’s Washington Capitals. “And if I’m getting under the skin of my opponents, that means I’m doing my job.”

Clarkson didn’t just get under Grabovski’s skin; he accidentally sliced it open.

After putting the Leafs up 1-0 on a nifty deflection of a Jake Gardiner wrist shot midway through the second period, his skate inadvertently cut a falling Grabovski in the cheek just before the intermission, leaving the former Leaf lying motionless on the ice for about 20 seconds. When he finally got up and quickly skated off the ice, the Caps centre was loudly booed.

After his gash was sealed with 20 stitches, he returned to the Caps lineup in the third period.

“It was so unintentional,” Clarkson said. “I was skating the other way and didn’t even know he was there.