Matt Dumba (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba was playing his first NHL playoff game Thursday against St. Louis. And the 20-year-old rookie made the most of his opportunities, scoring his first playoff goal: a rocket, one-timer shot through traffic that gave the Wild a 2-0 lead on the host Blues.
At this time last year, defenseman Matt Dumba was in the WHL playoffs with the Portland Winterhawks, who eventually won that league's Western Conference championship for the fourth consecutive season. The 20-year-old may not get that far in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild this season, but in his first career playoff game Thursday night, Dumba made a lifetime memory for himself with his first playoff goal – a rocket slap shot from the blueline that beat Blues goalie Jake Allen and gave his team a 2-0 lead on the road.
The Wild were on the power play early in the second period when Dumba one-timed a pass from Jared Spurgeon past Allen, who was screened on the play by Minnesota forwards Nino Niederreiter and Chris Stewart...and Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo:
Dumba finished the regular season with eight goals and 16 assists in 58 games for the Wild, and although he likely recalls his first-ever regular-season NHL goal as fondly as any he'll ever score, his first playoff goal will also rank up there with the best of them.