SUNRISE, Fla. - It didn't take Ian McCoshen very long to light the lamp.
In just his sixth NHL game, the 22-year-old defenseman scored the first goal of his career to help the Florida Panthers to a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night at the BB&T Center.
"Pretty much disbelief," McCoshen said of his reaction to the goal. "It's obviously surreal, scoring your first NHL goal. The team was really supportive. It was a great team win."
A mere 12 seconds after a wraparound goal from Paul Stastny put the Blues up 1-0, McCoshen scored the equalizer, connecting on a long shot from beyond the left circle to make it 1-1 at 1:26 of the second period.
Video: STL@FLA: McCoshen nets first NHL goal from the point
"That was a big response by us," head coach Bob Boughner said. "It was a great shot obviously and a good play to set it up. I'm happy for the kid. He's played well, not just the goal. He's played real strong defensively and he's doing a lot of good things out there. It's nice to see him get rewarded."
A second-round pick of the Panthers in the 2013 NHL Draft, McCoshen has suited up for all three of Florida's games this season after winning a training camp battle with offensive-minded defenseman MacKenzie Weegar for the team's sixth spot on the blue line - a spot he hopes to never relinquish.
"I'm trying not to get complacent with this opportunity," said McCoshen, who had 16:26 of ice time in the victory. "I want to stay and make an impact here. I want to win."
After the game, McCoshen was awarded a rugby jersey and ball as the team-appointed player of the game, a brand new tradition spawned from the Panthers' cultural connection to Legacy, a novel detailing the unmatched success of New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks.
"It was unexpected to see that," Boughner said, cracking a smile. "Every team has their rituals and they put their heads together and came up with that after what we talked about in our culture meeting. They're having fun with it now."