TAMPA — The Lightning celebrated their 29th birthday at Thursday’s game against the Wild, but they weren’t the only ones celebrating an anniversary. Victor Hedman scored his first career goal 10 years ago, against the Islanders, on Dec. 5, 2009.
Hedman knew it, too. When someone said it was the ninth anniversary of his first goal, Hedman quickly corrected him.
So Thursday was a perfect day for the defenseman’s 100th career goal.
Late in the second period, Hedman scored on a rocket of a shot from the point for a power-play goal to tie the score at 3.
He is the first Lightning defenseman to reach 100 career goals and also the only one to have played more than 700 games with the franchise.
The accomplishment did not, however, carry much luster in the circumstances of a 5-4 loss.
“It kind of gets lost,” Hedman said. “It’s tough to feel that excitement in a game where you come up with (a loss). But it means a lot to get them all, and in this uniform.”
That last part is a recurring theme for Hedman. When he reached the 700-game mark earlier this season, Hedman made a point of saying how proud he is to have played for only two teams in his career: MoDo in the Swedish league and the Lightning.