Mark it down: Danton Heinen scored the first goal of the 2021-22 NHL season. Heinen did so in his first game as a member of the Penguins, as he spent last year with the Ducks.
Through the first period, the Lightning looked a little lethargic against the Penguins. (Maybe it takes a little time to get going after repeating as Stanley Cup champions, and raising that banner?)
However, Vasilevskiy’s attempt to move the puck was intercepted by Jeff Carter. From there, Carter fed Heinen, who scored a gimme goal, the first of the 2021-22 NHL season. Heinen’s goal came just 12 seconds into the second period.
Watch Heinen’s goal in the video above this post’s headline.
A few minutes later, Brian Boyle also scored his first goal as a Penguin. Boyle didn’t play at all last season.
Who scored the first goal of other recent NHL seasons?
Want to compare Heinen’s first goal with other opening night tallies? Here are some recent ones.
- During an unusual January start date, Mark Jankowski scored the first goal of last season.
- Brady Tkachuk needed just 25 seconds to score the first goal of the 2019-20 season.
- Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen scored the first goal of the 2018-19 NHL season
- Nazem Kadri began the 2017-18 season with this tally.
- Auston Matthews wasn’t content to merely begin his career and the 2016-17 season with a goal. He scored four, becoming the first NHL player to debut with that many. Honestly, it’s going to be tough to top that.