Aleksi Heponiemi got quite a welcome to the NHL on Saturday night as he scored the game-winner in overtime as the Florida Panthers beat the host Detroit Red Wings 3-2.
Heponiemi, making his NHL debut after playing at AHL Springfield last season, not only got a lot of playing time Saturday but some important shifts as well.
“To score your first goal in your first game in overtime,” Keith Yandle mused afterward, “you always remember your first one, but he’s going to be telling his great-grandkids about that. As he should.
In overtime, he and Anthony Duclair teamed up for the game-winning goal. Duclair now has six assists — including one in each of Florida’s first five games.
“I can’t really feel better after getting those two points and obviously getting the goal,” said Heponiemi, who took the first-game solo skate before warmups.