Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Victor Hedman enjoys first career goal

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman puts the puck past Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson in the third period for his first NHL goal.

Associated Press

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman puts the puck past Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson in the third period for his first NHL goal.

TAMPA — You can excuse rookie D Victor Hedman for his spirited celebration after his third-period goal.

It was the first goal of his NHL career, so it didn't matter that the tally came late in a 4-0 victory Saturday over the Islanders.

The 6-foot-6 Swede had waited 27 games to reach the milestone, so he was going to soak it in with what C Jeff Halpern dubbed a "soccer-style" celebration.

"It feels pretty awesome," Hedman said.

Then he smiled. "Let's hope it doesn't take 28 games to get my next one."

The goal came in a matchup with the 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick, Islanders C John Tavares, the league's top-scoring rookie. He was picked one spot ahead of the Lightning rookie.

Hedman, 18, scored while on an odd-man rush with C Vinny Lecavalier midway through the third period.

Lecavalier, skating on the right side, craftily lofted a perfect pass over the stick of Islander and right to Hedman, who redirected the puck into the open net before crashing into the boards.

So happy, Hedman joked he "didn't feel the impact" before popping up.

LW Alex Tanguay retrieved the puck, he said, so Hedman will always have a keepsake.

"It was a great pass by Vinny," Hedman said. "It was almost an open net, so it felt great. I promised my friends back home to make a celebration, so it was awesome."

Wright Stuff: Rookie LW James Wright, who was involved in his first NHL fight Friday night, earned praise from coach Rick Tocchet and teammates for taking on Devils D Matthew Corrente.

"I thought he did well," Halpern said. "That's a tough guy he fought. I think the guys love seeing it and really appreciate what he did."

Wright, 19, said that after he finished a check against Corrente, the defenseman asked him if he wanted to fight. "I said, 'Sure.' "

"I was a little nervous going in, but I just try to hold my own in the fight," Wright said. "I had four fights last year (in juniors) and one the year before that, so it's not completely foreign to me, but I haven't done it a lot. It was kind of nice to get the first one out of the way, though."

Wright said he got a few calls from family and friends about the bout. "I got a lot of, 'Are you okay?' A lot of people asking me if I'm all right," he said. "That's about it."

Odds and ends: C Paul Szczechura's upper-body injury from Friday's game doesn't appear to be serious. Though Szczechura was scratched Saturday, Tocchet said he was a game-time decision and is day to day. D Kurtis Foster filled in for Szczechura at forward. LW Todd Fedoruk and D Matt Smaby were also scratched. … LW Ryan Malone scored his 16th goal of the season.

Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Victor Hedman enjoys first career goal 12/05/09 [Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2009 12:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  3. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.

  5. Urban Meyer says the Big Ten is now the equal of the SEC


    CHICAGO — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer doesn't just believe the Big Ten has closed the gap with the more heralded SEC. He is convinced the race is a dead heat already.

    Ohio State’s Urban Meyer says the Big Ten East is as strong as the SEC East was when he coached UF to two national titles.