With less than 10 games remaining in the regular season, we take a look back at some of the Sens who scored their first career NHL goals this season...
1. Chris Wideman - November 7th, 2015 vs the Carolina Hurricanes
Wideman kicked off the bevvy of first career NHL goals for the Sens about a month into the 2015-16 season during a road trip to Carolina to face the Hurricanes. Bobby Ryan sends a slick pass from the half-wall and finds Wideman sneaking down from the point and he gets just enough on the shot from a tough angle to beat Cam Ward. If it hadn't been for a very late game-tying goal by Jeff Skinner, Wideman's first would have been a game winner too.
ASSISTS: ZIBANEJAD, RYAN
Wideman after the goal:
"It was a pretty cool feeling. At the time in the game it was a big goal so I was pretty excited about it. I just tried to get open and Bobby made a great play to get it over. I think I banked it off him or it just squeaked in...I'm not really sure how it went in but I was pretty excited."
2. Max McCormick - January 7th, 2016 vs the Florida Panthers
After giving up a pair of goals to the Panthers just 8 seconds apart, the Sens were looking for answer mid-way through the second period. That's when McCormick picked off a Florida breakout pass and sniped his first career goal on Roberto Luongo (not too shabby). What's great about the Vine above is it shows Lazar racing to grab the puck afterward...something he's done more than once this year.
McCormick after the goal:
"I work to get shots on net and try not to stress too much on scoring goals because when you get shots and get to the net, good things will happen. To get that first one is definitely a bit of a weight off and a good feeling."
3. Ryan Dzingel - February 16th, 2016 vs the Buffalo Sabres
Down 1-0 to the Sabres at home, Dzingel drives hard to the Buffalo net and whacks in the rebound off of a Patrick Wiercioch shot past Robin Lehner to even the score. You can piece together his celebratory point to the sky if you check out his thoughts on the play below. The game would eventually see the Sens take it in a shootout thanks in large part to the rookie's first goal in the show.
ASSISTS: WIERCIOCH, WIDEMAN
Dzingel after the goal:
"A lot of emotion there. Thinking about my family and thinking about a couple of my friend's mom who passed away and I told them I'd get one for them so it was a lot of emotion there. I kinda blacked out on that celly though. It felt good to get the first one."
4. Nick Paul - February 23rd, 2016 vs the Edmonton Oilers
About a week after Dzingel got his, another late season call-up was able to make his mark on the stat sheet against the Oilers. Paul spins of a check in front of the Edmonton goal and is the right place at the right time to tap in a rebound from a Chris Wideman shot from the slot. Paul's first was also the first of four on the night propelling the Sens to a 4-1 victory against the Oilers on the road.
ASSISTS: WIDEMAN, LAZAR
Paul after the goal:
"It was awesome. I saw the shot come in, I saw the goalie come out and I was right at the side of the net with an open net. The puck just happened to slide right to me and it was an easy tap-in. It was a great shift by the guys. We got pucks towards the net, we were all in te right spot and it went in."
5. Dion Phaneuf - February 20th, 2016 vs the Detroit Red Wings
So it's definitely not his first NHL goal (in fact he has 121 goals in his career) but I thought it fit in nicely with the others on the list...mainly with how happy his teammates and the fans were when he scored his first in a Sens jersey. Down a goal to the visiting Red Wings with under 4 minutes remaining, Phaneuf sends a "seeing eye" shot from the point that ties the game sending it beyond the third period where Kyle Turris would eventually seal the win in the shootout. I'm a big fan of how Phaneuf acknowledged the reception he received from the home crowd after the goal...
Phaneuf after the goal:
"It felt really good. I think when you look at the play: Mark Stone makes it happen and that's the bottom line. Get traffic and creates a screen so the goalie can't see it and it finds a way through. Credit to him for screening their goalie and it felt real good. To be received like that after scoring is something that I will never forget as a player. The way that they cheered...and I saw it. It was a special moment for me."
Also, we didn't include Shane Prince's first NHL goal against the Avalanche since he's moved on but if you'd like to check it out here's the link.