Sam Bennett (Gerry Thomas/Getty Images)
Calgary Flames rookie Sam Bennett scored his first career NHL goal Sunday night, and it stood as the game-winning tally. Thanks in large part to Bennett's goal, the Flames now lead the first-round series 2-1.
Were it not for a shoulder injury to start the season, Sam Bennett's first career goal likely would have come sometime in October. Instead, the Calgary Flames' top prospect scored his first tally when it mattered most -- in a one-goal game of a tied playoff series.
After a scoreless second period and with Calgary up 2-1 on Vancouver entering the third period, a goalmouth scramble broke out in front of Canucks netminder Eddie Lack. Bennett, who was positioned behind the net when the shot from Joe Colborne was let go, swooped out in front and slapped at the loose puck to slip it home:
Bennett, drafted fourth overall by the Flames in 2014, was put on injured reserve before the season began with a shoulder injury that required surgery. In late February, Bennett was sent back to the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs where he scored 11 goals and 24 points in 11 games and added three assists in four playoff games.
Once the Frontenacs' season ended, Bennett got the call back to the NHL, but didn't suit up until Calgary's final outing of the regular season. In the post-season, Bennett has been in the lineup for each game, logging over 12 minutes per contest. His goal Sunday night is his second point.
Thanks to a goal by Canucks winger Jannik Hansen, Bennett's tally stood as the game-winning marker and gives the Flames a 2-1 series lead.