Viktor Arvidsson had grown accustomed to scoring goals this season. Plenty of them, in fact.
The 24-year-old winger put up 31 goals this season — a substantial increase from his previous career best of eight from 2015-16 — for the Nashville Predators, playing the bulk of his time at five-on-five with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg, two like-minded offensive players.
As a trio, they had no problem during the regular season dominating puck possession and making their opponents pay on the score board.
However, it had been a long time in between goals for Arvidsson in this postseason. Prior to Monday night, when the Predators evened the Stanley Cup Final with the Penguins at two games apiece, Arvidsson had gone 15 games without a goal, his last coming in the clinching game of that first-round series sweep versus Chicago.
“I don’t know what to say,” Arvidsson told the National Post earlier in the series.
“I try to work as hard as I can. Of course, I wish I could score. I think I should have a lot more than I have in the playoffs. I want to get it done. I want to be a leader on the team and try to get it done. They’ve just hasn’t gone in.”
He had been playing set-up man for the most part in these playoffs, with 10 assists. It’s not like he isn’t contributing offensively. That couldn’t be further from the truth. But the puck finally went in for Arvidsson on Monday. He accepted a nifty breakaway pass from Mike Fisher, went in and beat Matt Murray with a shot to the glove side.
“It’s about time I scored,” Arvidsson told NBC Sports. “I feel like I’ve had looks and not been able to put it in the back of the net. It was an amazing feeling.”