Billy Smith of the New York Islanders, in the 1979–80 season, was the first goaltender to be credited with a goal in the NHL when Rob Ramage of the Colorado Rockies put the puck into his own empty net. Smith was the last Islander to have touched the puck, and by NHL rule 78.4, an unassisted goal is awarded to the last player on the scoring team who had contacted the puck, in the event of an own goal.
However, the participation of goaltenders in offense began long before Billy Smith's goal. The first recorded goal in competitive play, scored by a goaltender, was in 1905. According to a Montreal Star report, poor officiating resulted in only the goaltenders left on the ice in a February 18 game between the Montreal Westmounts and Quebec Bulldogs of Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL). Fred Brophy (Montreal) and Hall of Famer Paddy Moran (Quebec) exchanged scoring attempts, before Brophy beat Moran, while the latter and most of the spectators "convulsed in laughter". Brophy repeated the feat a year later on March 7, 1906, by skating the length of the ice to score on goaltender Nathan Frye of the Montreal Victorias of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA).
The first goaltender credited with an assist in the NHL was Georges Vezina in the 1917–18 season, after a puck rebounded off his leg pad to a teammate who skated the length of the ice to score. In the 1935–36 season, Tiny Thompson became the first goaltender to gain an assist after making an intentional pass. During the Second World War, while playing for the All-Star Canadian Army team, goaltender Chuck Rayner carried the puck down the ice and beat the opposing goaltender, Art Jones. In the NHL, he made numerous unsuccessful attempts to duplicate this feat; as a member of the New York Rangers, Rayner attempted to score both by aiming at an empty net and by rushing down the rink. There are at least two recorded instances of him skating to the other side of the ice after making a save, and he was experimentally used on the point during power-plays in late 1940s.
In the 1976–77 season, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon briefly became the first goaltender to be credited with a goal when the opposing New York Islanders scored on themselves during a delayed penalty; however, after video review, the goal was given to Vic Venasky as it was determined that he was the last Kings player to touch the puck before it went in the net. A similar case occurred in 1987 when the Islanders' Brent Sutter scored on his own net during a delayed penalty; the cross-town rival Rangers' Bob Froese was credited with the goal, briefly becoming the second goaltender to have been credited with an NHL goal. Later video review concluded that Froese had not touched the puck at all, and the goal was awarded to David Shaw.
The first goaltender to score a goal by intentionally shooting the puck into the opponent's net was the Philadelphia Flyers' Ron Hextall, who on December 8, 1987, scored in an empty net after Boston pulled their goaltender, Rejean Lemelin, for a sixth attacker late in the third period. The most recent goaltender to have scored a goal by deliberately shooting the puck into his opponents' net was Evgeni Nabokov, in 2002.
Of the thirteen goals scored by NHL goaltenders, six were shot into the opposing team's net by the goaltender. There have been two goaltenders that have scored and earned a shutout in the same game. Damian Rhodes, playing for the Ottawa Senators, was credited with a goal in a 6–0 win over the New Jersey Devils on January 2, 1999, and Jose Theodore, playing for the Montreal Canadiens, shot the puck into the New York Islanders' empty net in a 3–0 victory on January 2, 2001, exactly two years later. Theodore's shot was the only backhand of the six. In addition to being the first goaltender to be credited with a goal, Billy Smith was the only goaltender to have scored in a game that he lost.
Chris Mason and Damian Rhodes are the only goalies to be credited with a goal in both the AHL and the NHL. Of the 13 goals, the New Jersey Devils have been involved in five of them, three goals for (highest total) and two goals against (highest total); in addition, another goal was scored against them in their previous incarnation as the Colorado Rockies.
While both Ron Hextall and Martin Brodeur have scored more than one goal, Hextall is the only goaltender to score twice by directly shooting the puck into the opponent's net. Brodeur's second and third goals were own goals by the other team, where Brodeur received credit for touching the puck last. Brodeur's second goal is the only game-winning goal scored by a goaltender. Hextall and Brodeur both scored in a playoff game as well as a regular season game. Hextall's second goal is the only goal scored by a goaltender while his team was short handed, and Evgeni Nabokov and Martin Brodeur are the only goalies who scored on a power play. Martin Brodeur is the only goalie to score against another goalie, when he scored against Dan Ellis, although Ellis was on his way to the bench for an extra attacker on a delayed penalty call and failed to make it back to the net in time to prevent the puck from entering the goal. Brodeur is also the only goalie who has both scored an empty net goal while the opposing goalie was on the bench, as well as having been the goalie on the bench when another goalie was credited with a goal.
Read more about this topic: List Of Goaltenders Who Have Scored A Goal In An NHL Game
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