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First goal on Brodeur puts Gordon in exclusive club

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 2:51 PM / NHL Insider

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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First goal on Brodeur puts Gordon in exclusive club
Every player dreams of scoring a goal in the NHL. When that first goal goes past a future Hall of Famer like Martin Brodeur, it becomes that much more memorable.
Now in his 18th NHL season, Martin Brodeur has allowed 2,401 goals, making it impossible for him to remember all of them.

Forty-seven of those goals, however, will forever leave a memory burned into the minds of the players who scored them. That's because only 47 players -- including Washington Capitals rookie Andrew Gordon on Tuesday -- can say they scored their first NHL goal against arguably the greatest goaltender in NHL history.

"I got more messages about that than about scoring in general," Gordon told NHL Live! on Wednesday. "Everyone's so surprised that I beat Marty more than the fact that I scored in general. I'll take it."

The 25-year-old from Halifax, N.S., tapped in a beautiful cross-ice pass from Marcus Johansson to put the Caps in front 1-0 in the first period. When Gordon got back to the bench, he cemented his status in the group of 47 as probably the only skater to celebrate his goal by kissing his teammate.

"I probably wouldn’t have done it if it was a point shot that I banged home on the second or third rebound," Gordon told NHL Live!. "Marcus made an unbelievable play. We came back to the bench and I don't know exactly what was going through my head at the time, just really wanted to show my appreciation for that play. I leaned over and laid one on the helmet there.

"That's going to haunt me for the rest of my career."

Evgeni Malkin by far is the most notable name on the list of players who broke through against Brodeur. The Pittsburgh Penguins' star poked at a loose puck Brodeur thought he had covered to score in his first NHL game, Oct. 18, 2006 at the Igloo.

While Malkin is the only player on the list to have scored more than 75 career goals, there are plenty of players who had solid NHL careers and others who still have bright futures.

Gordon is the second rookie to get his first career goal against Brodeur this season. Jordan Caron of the Boston Bruins accomplished the feat in a 4-1 victory Oct. 16. The 19-year-old, who grew up not far from where Brodeur was raised, admitted it was a special moment.

"It's a great feeling to get my first NHL goal against Brodeur," Caron said. "He's a great goalie … maybe one of the best ever, so I think it's a bonus to score against him. Being from Montreal, I watched him play and saw him win those Stanley Cups. It's pretty special scoring against him."

Right wing Turner Stevenson spent 13 seasons in the League and netted his first goal April 10, 1995. Eight years later, Stevenson and Brodeur celebrated together when the Devils won the Stanley Cup in seven games against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

A pair of defensemen in the New York Rangers organization have gotten the best of Brodeur to open their careers.

Matt Gilroy scored the game-winner with a low slap shot Oct. 10, 2009. Marc Staal only scored two goals over the first 80 games of his NHL career, but the first was a blistering wrist shot from the top of the left circle that eluded Brodeur's catching glove and ringed off the inside of the post.

"The goal was pretty neat," said Staal on Nov. 14, 2007. "I think (Scott) Gomez meant to pass it to Shanny (Brendan Shanahan) in the slot and he let it pass. It surprised me a little bit and I got a hold of it, kind of just waited -- I was basically thinking, 'Shoot high.' And I looked up and it was in the net.

"It was an unbelievable feeling. Obviously, you wait your whole life up to that point to score your first NHL goal. To do it on a Hall of Fame goalie like Brodeur, it was even better."

Christian Hanson of the Toronto Maple Leafs has just 3 goals in 39 games over parts of three seasons, but the first one against Brodeur will stick with him for a while.

"It was unbelievable," Hanson said. "It was my third game and I was hoping to get one before the season ended. To get it against the greatest goalie of all time is unreal."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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