How Erik Karlsson scored his first NHL goal

It may have taken a little longer than he would have liked, or than many had expected, but Erik Karlsson scored his first NHL goal Saturday in the Ottawa Senators' 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. How it happened will likely be forgotten if his career plays out as Senators fans and brass expect him to, but why not take a closer look at the play as it developed while it's still fresh in our minds.

It started off with a wrister from Karlsson. Bit of a weak-looking shot, with Karlsson sliding across the blue line, but he did what was most important: He hit the net.

Karlsson1_medium

(Read more... )

After Niklas Backstrom made the save, Joshua Hennessy and Peter Regin worked the front of the net. Minnesota defender Clayton Stoner appeared to hold a conversation with Backstrom, and Marek Zidlicky was bodied off the puck by Regin, who won the puck battle and drew the puck back to Alex Kovalev on the side boards.

Karlsson2_medium

With Kovalev on the sideboards, he draws left winger Cal Clutterbuck towards himself--and away from Karlsson's shooting lane--while settling down the puck. Once he's got it settled, he looks to Karlsson, and sets the rookie up with a perfect one-timer pass: A steady puck with a good pace, at just the right spot in front of Karlsson. 

Karlsson3_medium

Cue the one-timer. We've heard a lot about Karlsson's slapshot, but haven't had much of an opportunity to really see him let one rip so far this season. This time, he made no mistake, and his timing--with a little help from a perfectly-placed pass from Kovalev, and some wingers drawn out of position (or just hesitant to block the shot), the puck got through.

Karlsson4_medium

Again in front of the net are Hennessy and Regin. Only Regin got a point on the goal, but both of them deserve some credit for winning that battle for the puck and for causing trouble in front of the net. For this second shot, Regin was right at the top of the crease, while Hennessy worked Zidlicky a little higher off the crease.

Karlsson5_medium

And a celebration ensues. It really looked like Kovalev wanted to get Karlsson that goal--in fact, it had kind of looked like the team had been working to get him his first for a few games now.

Karlsson6_medium

Might not be an amazing goal (wouldn't it have been spectacular if he'd scored on that breakaway a couple of games ago), but a first goal is a first goal. The fact that it was the fourth goal in a 4-1 victory won't likely matter much to him a few seasons from now.


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver Seven

You must be a member of Silver Seven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Seven. You should read them.

Join Silver Seven

You must be a member of Silver Seven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Seven. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker