Putin hits the red carpet — literally

Russian leader takes a spill while playing hockey and falls face first.

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By David K. Li

He shoots, he falls!

Russian leader Vladimir Putin took a nasty spill after an exhibition hockey game in Sochi on Friday night, losing an edge after skating into a red carpet.

As Putin waved to adoring fans, the 66-year-old didn't see the treacherous rug that had been placed on the ice. Two of his teammates rushed to try to stop Putin, but they were too late as he hit the carpet and went down hard, face first.

The embarrassed but seemingly unharmed president quickly got back on his blades, continued to skate and waved at fans.

Putin reportedly scored eight goals in the "Legends" contest, playing with tycoons, high-ranking Russian officials and former NHL stars like Slava Fetisov and Pavel Bure.

Putin has long enjoyed playing hockey, with a remarkable knack of forcing defenders to peel off him while driving to the net as goaltenders haplessly flail as his powerful shots.