On Thursday, Pekka Rinne of Kempele, Finland became the first NHL goalie in seven years to score a goal. The Nashville Predators netminder scored an unassisted goal with 22 seconds left in the game as the Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 at the United Center in Chicago, IL.
It was Rinne’s third point of the season and 14th of his NHL career. He also has two assists this season. His first helper came in a 3-2 Nashville shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on October 19 and his second assist came in a 6-1 Predators win over the Detroit Red Wings on November 4, 2019. In his career, Rinne has 13 assists and now 14 points in 650 NHL regular season games.
Rinne becomes the 12th NHL goalie to score a goal. Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils has three career goals, while Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers has two career goals. Other NHL goaltenders who have scored a goal are Billy Smith of the New York Islanders, Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings, Damian Rhodes of the Ottawa Senators, Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens, Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks, Mika Noronen of the Buffalo Sabres, Chris Mason of the Nashville Predators, Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes and Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes.
The only American goalie to score a goal is Rhodes. A native of St. Paul, MN, he scored in a 6-0 Ottawa win over the New Jersey Devils on January 2, 1999. Smith was the last goalie to score in a game as he accomplished the feat in a 5-2 Phoenix Coyotes win over the Detroit Red Wings on October 19, 2013.
In the Predators win over the Blackhawks, five Predators scored a goal. The others to deliver the puck past the goal line were Colin Blackwell of Lawrence, MA, Nick Bonino of Hartford, CT, Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Duchene.
In 2019-20, Rinne has a record of 15 wins, nine regulation losses, and three losses in extra time. His three shutouts leads the NHL. Rinne also has a goals against average of 3.02 and a save percentage of .895.
Nashville is currently in fifth place in the Central Division with a record of 20 wins, 16 regulation losses and seven losses in extra time for 47 points. They have five fewer points than the fourth place Winnipeg Jets.