said it was just as much a sense of relief to score his first career NHL goal as it was a memorable experience for the Lightning defenseman.
A high second-round draft pick in 2005, Mikkelson appeared in 115 career NHL games prior to Saturday’s matchup against the St. Louis Blues, where in his 116th contest, he finally notched the one he had been waiting for since entering the league in 2008-09.
“There’s been so many games I’ve played in since coming into the NHL that it had been long enough,” Mikkelson joked. “That’s really where the relief came from. It was just getting it over with.”
Mikkelson’s goal came late in a 3-1 defeat to the St. Louis Blues, but the end result of the game had no bearing on what had transpired not long before.
The play unfolded when Tim Wallace
brought the puck up along the side boards before passing off to Adam Hall
at the blue line, who saw a hole in the Blues’ defense and took full advantage of it. After skating in near the side of the right circle, Hall dished the puck to a wide-open Mikkelson, who sent a quick snap shot past goaltender Jaroslav Halak to finish off the 2-on-1.
“I think with [Ryan] Shannon going down [to injury], the fact that I scored it while playing as a forward kind of made it a little funnier. I couldn’t do it on defense, so I had to do it one way or the other.”Where the puck is now:
“I still have it at home right now, but I’m definitely going to hold on to it and do something special with it. I was thinking I’ll maybe frame it or something like that. I’ll figure it out after the season.”