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The Noon Number: A Memorable First

A few notes on a Caps' rookie's first NHL goal

Rob Carr

1 - Career NHL goals for Evgeny Kuznetsov after last night's dramatic game-tying tally. Three interesting nuggest on the goal, via Vogs:

  • Kuznetsov is the first Capital in nearly three decades to score his first NHL goal while Washington was shorthanded. Back on April 7, 1985, Washington defenseman Kevin Hatcher notched his first NHL goal while the Capitals were down a man.
  • Kuznetsov’s first NHL goal came in the game immediately following Chris Brown’s first goal in the league. Brown’s initial NHL tally evened Saturday’s game against the Sharks in the third period, a game in which the Caps eventually prevailed 3-2 by way of a postgame skills competition. This is the first time in more than a decade that a pair of freshmen Capitals have scored their first NHL goals in consecutive contests since John Gruden (Oct. 9, 2003) and Boyd Gordon (Oct. 11, 2003) did so early in the 2003-04 campaign.
  • Kuznetsov became the seventh different member of the Caps to score his first NHL goal this season, following in the skate-steps of Connor Carrick, Wilson, Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt, Julien Brouillette and Brown. The Caps are 6-0-1 in the seven games in which those players scored their first goals in the league. This season marks the first time in more than 20 seasons that the Capitals have had as many as seven players notch their first goals in the league. Back in 1989-90, the Caps also had seven players score for the first time in the circuit. Robin Bawa, Brian Tutt, Chris Felix, Nick Kypreos, Rob Murray, Kent Paynter and Tim Bergland did the honors for the Caps in ’89-90. Those seven players went on to combine for a grand total of 76 career NHL goals. For Tutt, Felix and Paynter, those first NHL goals in ’89-90 also turned out to be only NHL goals.