Bruins’ Linus Ullmark scores rare goalie goal

Goaltender Linus Ullmark is helping the Boston Bruins to a record pace with his stellar play in net.

Now the All-Star has added a rare goalie goal to his repertoire.

Ullmark scored the NHL’s first goalie goal since Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne’s 2020 achievement as the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Saturday night.

The Vezina Trophy front-runner stopped a rolling puck just below the faceoff circle, set up and wristed a shot toward the empty Vancouver net. The Swedish goaltender’s shot landed between the Canucks faceoff circles and bounced in at 19:12 of the third period to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead.

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He was mobbed by Bruins players then skated to the Boston bench for a goal scorer’s traditional fist bump with teammates.

‘It’s one of the dreams I always had, that I wanted to score a goal and now I had the opportunity,’ he told reporters. ‘I tried in the Winter Classic and didn’t really make it, and now everything came together.’

He said a teammate had encouraged him to do the fist-bump celebration.

‘I appreciate that gesture from them,’ he said.

Only 13 goaltenders have been credited with a goal (16 total times) in NHL history. Ullmark is the eighth to shoot the puck into the net (Ron Hextall did it twice) and the first Bruins goalie. The others were credited when the goaltender was the last player to touch the puck before the opponent scored an own goal.

‘It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling right now,’ Ullmark said. ‘I have to kind of digest it all, but I’m just so bloody happy.’

Ullmark also did well in his traditional role Saturday, stopping 26 of 27 shots for his 30th win of the season. He has a 1.86 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

The Bruins have 45 wins in 58 games and are on pace to break the NHL record of 62 wins in a season.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY