You always remember your first.
Even if it comes against Arizona on a Monday night.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" align=center ><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ch-ch-ch-changes <a href="http://t.co/ULUT156AZv">pic.twitter.com/ULUT156AZv</a></p>— LA Kings (@LAKings) <a href="https://twitter.com/LAKings/status/553621539782791168">January 9, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
A lot of times, players’ first goals come in garbage time. For Andy Andreoff, his first NHL tally lifted the hopes of an organization that was battling to acquire a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season.
It was one of the Kings’ many games tabbed as ‘must-wins’ as they fought for playoff positioning during the final stages of their 2014-‘15 campaign. Coming into the evening of March 16, the Kings were on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Andreoff, playing in his 15th career NHL game, and just his third in the Kings’ previous 18 games, snuck home the contest’s lone goal to give the Kings a much-needed two points and 1-0 victory.
Jordan Nolan, after chipping the puck into Arizona’s zone, beat defenseman John Moore low along the side boards, spun off with the puck, transformed quickly to his forehand to feed Andreoff a perfect back-door pass.
Andreoff, with his momentum shifting backward, didn’t catch all of the puck in his back-footed clutch and one-time effort; although that may have been what fooled the expectations of Mike Smith, who overplayed Andreoff’s shot, getting beat under the pads through the five-hole.
Andy’s on Board:
It was a big goal from the fourth-line, which consisted of Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan – who had come up through the Kings’ AHL ranks in Manchester similarly to Andreoff, assisting the rookie on the game-winning tally.
“I talked to John Stevens about [Andreoff]. And he says they know about his skill set, it’s not going to be off the charts. But, they know about his identity, and that’s hard work.”
Andreoff also buried the final goal of the Kings’ 2014-’15 season on April 11, netting his 2nd career NHL goal with 43.5 seconds left to play after receiving a pass from Tyler Toffoli on a two-on-one sequence with the San Jose Sharks’ net empty.
He finished his rookie season with three points (2G, 1A) in 18 games played, firing off 14 shots on goal in 154 shifts, averaging 8:34 minutes of ice-time each game. Andreoff also acquired 18 penalty minutes, ten of those for a pair of fighting majors. The rookie dropped the gloves with Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks in his first-career NHL game.
Everything good comes with an ounce or two of luck. The Kings donned a special set of uniforms to benefit the Kings Care Foundation for the forthcoming St. Patrick’s Day Holiday during warm-ups that evening.
Are you superstitious?