During Thursday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the unthinkable happened — Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne scored a goal.
Rinne became the first goaltender to score since Mike Smith did so in October 2013.
In the dying moments of the third period and the Blackhawks’ net empty, Rinne rifled the puck up the ice with the hope that it would end up in between the opposing goal posts. Even if it was an eager attempt that would surely never come back to hurt Nashville and didn’t have an effect on the outcome, it was special.
Rinne is now the seventh goaltender in NHL history to score an empty-net goal. Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur is the only goaltender with two regular-season goals to his name. It should be noted that former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall scored a goal in the regular season and the playoffs.
The 37-year-old was clearly excited to make his mark on the scoresheet. And so were those who bet the over, which was set at 6.5 at MGM, as Rinne’s goal sealed Nashville’s 5-2 win.
Pekka Rinne on scoring his first NHL goal: “For sure [it’s a dream come true]. I’m not going to lie... I just threw my hands up in the air and tried to act as cool as I could.” #Preds— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) January 10, 2020
Through 27 games played, Rinne has a .895 save percentage, a 3.02 goals against average, and one goal.
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