Mike Weber’s smile after scoring his first career NHL goal was so bright, it could have lit up an outdoor rink.
The Buffalo Sabres defenceman liked the feeling of it so much, he decided to go out and score a second, leading his team to a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
“It’s a bit surreal,” Weber said. “It’s a dream come true to get your first NHL goal. I just kind of threw the puck on net. It’s a little thing, but if you throw the puck on net, you never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty happy.”
Weber, 23, scored the Sabres’ second goal of the game, floating a point shot through a sea of bodies in front of the Oilers net and past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.
He then went on to pick up an assist on Jochen Hecht’s third period marker and rounded out his memorable, first-star night by lofting the puck out of his end into an empty net with time winding down in the contest.
“To tell you the truth, I was just trying to keep it in the neutral zone, but I just had a little too much on it,” Weber said. “I was praying that it wasn’t going to go for icing, but it went in. On some nights, you just have the good bounces and tonight was mine.”
The Sabres second-round pick — 57th overall — in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Weber went into the contest with one assist in 16 games this season.
In three years with the organization, the native of Pittsburgh had four assists in 39 games with the Sabres.
“It was a great team effort and a great team win,” Weber said. “I think with losing (Derek) Roy and not having (Tyler) Myers in the lineup the last couple of games, people have to step up. I’m not saying I’m the offensive answer, because I’m not, but it’s nice to contribute and it’s nice to get a win on the road, because we haven’t won on the road in a while.”
Weber has been trying to find a regular place in the Sabres lineup all season.
He sat out 20 of the team’s first 22 games of the year.
“I’m happy for him because he works really hard,” said Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, who earned his 200th career win. “He has a great wrist shot and a great slap shot and we were excited he was able to get it off.”