(Video) First NHL Goal: First two nights of 2015-16 feature several rookie markers

By Ken McKenna

Jack Eichel - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Buffalo Sabres rookie forward Jack Eichel celebrates his first NHL goal in the third period of his team’s home opener, a game won by the visiting Ottawa Senators, 3-1 (courtesy of Tom Brenner/Getty Images)


The Winnipeg Jets had a successful season opener, defeating the Boston Bruins in Boston by a 6-2 score. Included in those six goals was the first by rookie forward Nic Petan, who, like Donskoi, scored his goal by going to the net.

With a 4-2 lead in the thrid period, the Jets applied pressure in the Bruins’ zone. Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart took the puck at the left point and fed it to forward Andrew Copp along the left wall. Copp then fired a shot towards the Boston net, where Petan was parked and ready.

In St. Louis, Blues’ rookie Robby Fabbri made his first NHL goal count as it turned out to be the game-winner in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Midway through the third period of a 1-1 game, the Blues battled for the puck in the Oilers’ zone. St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz gained control of the puck in the left faceoff circle, then dropped a pass to Jori Lehtera the left of Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. Lehtera then fed a no-look pass to the slot to a hard-charging Fabbri.

Not to be outdone by Fabbri, Nashville Predators rookie forward Viktor Arvidsson also made his first goal an game-winner, with Arvidsson’s coming in a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Again, the advantages of finding real estate in front of the opposing net were well illustrated by Arvidsson.

With a little over three minutes left in the second and the Predators leading 1-0, Nashville defenseman Seth Jones gained control of the puck at the blueline, then fired a shot towards the Hurricanes’ net with Predators’ forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Arvidsson both battling in front of the net.

The fifth and final first NHL goal scored on Thursday night came off the stick of Dallas Stars forward Mattias Janmark in a 3-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Janmark’s goal, the first of the game, was another winning goal by an NHL rookie on the night.

Early in the first period, the Stars gained control of the puck in their zone and headed up ice on a break. Dallas forward Ales Hemsky entered the Penguins’ zone along the right wall, then spotted Janmark driving towards the Pittsburgh net.

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