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Nikolai Knyzhov Scores First NHL Goal

by Ann Frazier /

On Wednesday, March 31 Sharks rookie Nikolai Knyzhov scored his first career NHL goal 10:58 into the third period against the Minnesota Wild. The goal came in the Kemerovo, Russia native's 38th NHL game, and 35th game of the season. 

Rudolfs Balcers brought the puck deep into the zone, before dropping it off to Erik Karlsson at the point. Karlsson quickly passed it across the ice to Knyzhov, who cradled the puck and brought it up to the face-off dot before firing it past Kahkonen. 

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Somebody grab that puck! @NikolaiKnyzhov | #SJSharks

The goal made the game 3-1, and ended up being the game-winner after the Wild scored late in the third. 

Per Darin Stephens, Nikolai Knyzhov is the fifth defenseman in Sharks history whose first NHL goal was a game-winner, joining Jay More, Christian Ehrhoff, Tim Heed, and Radim Simek. 

To say that the rest of the boys were excited for the rookie would be an understatement. 

And to top it all off, Knyzhov was, shall we say, encouraged to wear an excellent wig during his postgame press availability by Tomas Hertl. 

Video: Knyzhov speaks postgame vs Wild on 3/31

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