Former NHL goaltender Ron Hextall did a lot of things in the NHL over the course of his career, but one of the more amazing things he did was score goals. Open nets gave Hextall a chance to score as he possessed a pretty good lob shot down the ice. While he only scored two goals in his career, he was the first NHL goaltender to record a goal in both the regular season and the playoffs, accomplishing that in back-to-back seasons. In 1987-88, he scored into an open net against the Boston Bruins, and he scored his first (and last) playoff goal shorthanded against the Washington Capitals. I've seen the Boston Bruins goal before, and it's pretty good. However, in searching for this goal, EastCoastHalloween has a 1:34 clip on YouTube of Hextall's goal. It's the first I've seen of it.
Here is a clip of Hextall becoming the first goaltender to score a playoff goal in the history of the NHL.
I understand that the Capitals were dumping the puck into the Flyers' zone to make a change, but you have to know that Ron Hextall is back there. Hextall had scored an open-net goal just one year earlier when he scored on the Bruins.
Rod Langway, the Caps' defenceman who was coming on to the ice, had no chance of stopping the puck after Hextall fired it down the ice, so I'm not sure why the Capitals would fire the puck deep. The Capitals' defenceman who vacated the ice in favour of Langway? The defenceman who dumped the puck in before wheeling back to the bench? None other than #3 Scott Stevens.
Oops. The fourth-place Flyers knocked off the first-place Washington Capitals in the Patrick Division semi-final that year in six games, so that Hextall goal wasn't all that important in the scope of the series. However, historical moments are pretty big, and this one showed off why knowing your playoff opponent is critical to your team's success.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!