Denver – Jarome Iginla sent a wrist shot in the vicinity of the goal, maybe even more a pass than scoring chance.
Then a strange thing happened: The puck clanged off a skate and caromed into the net for his 600th NHL goal.
Sure, it was a little bit of luck. But he certainly won’t quibble because, as he said through a broad smile, “I’m not picky.”
Iginla became the 19th member of the 600-goal club, scoring on a power play in the third period, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Los Angeles 4-1 on Monday night, snapping the Kings’ five-game winning streak.
“It was a ‘natural’ goal,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy joked. “Hey, you put it toward the net and good things happen. I’m very happy for him. It was quite something.”
Iginla’s shot hit off the skate of Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin and bounced past goalie Jhonas Enroth. Iginla was mobbed by teammates near the glass. He then carried the celebration over to the bench as he high-fived more teammates. As he took a seat on the bench, Iginla stood up in a salute to the crowd during an extended standing ovation.
This was as good as he could’ve imagined.
“It’s a little bit surreal,” said the 38-year-old Iginla, who’s in his 19th season. “When I started, I didn’t think I was going to get to 600 or 500. You just play and you want to be in the league and you want to win, you want to be a part of the NHL.
“Each year goes by you keep going, keep battling and time flies and stuff. . . . It’s pretty neat.”
Even Kings coach Darryl Sutter was glad he had a front-row seat to witness a little bit of hockey history.
“Pretty spectacular if you think about it,” Sutter said. “Probably has another 100 in him if he wants.”
The thing is, none of the Avalanche really knew how to celebrate. So, they just winged it with the right winger.
“Six hundred goals, I can’t wrap my head around it, really,” defenseman Tyson Barrie said. “It’s very impressive.”
Red Wings 1, Devils 0
In Newark, New Jersey, Dylan Larkin scored on a breakaway and Petr Mrazek made 22 saves.
Senators 3, Blues 2 (OT)
In St. Louis, Bobby Ryan scored twice, including the game-winner at 2:33 of overtime.
Oilers 1, Hurricanes 0
In Edmonton, Andrej Sekera scored 2:47 into overtime, and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season.
Coyotes 3, Canucks 2
In Vancouver, Shane Doan scored twice to lead the Coyotes past the division-rival Canucks.