Byron's first Flames' goal a big one
RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
|Paul Byron. Photo by Mike Drew/QMI Agency
Maybe this time, Paul Byron will get the milestone puck.
Byron scored his first NHL goal last season during a stint with the Buffalo Sabres — a tally in his hometown of Ottawa, no less — but doesn’t actually have the keepsake. Last he heard, the Sabres were making a plaque for him with it, but he’s yet to see it.
However, the rookie will have another keepsake, and likely sooner, having scored his first goal for the Calagry Flames in Saturday’s dramatic 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche, coming in just his second game for the Western Conference club.
“I’ll make sure I don’t lose it,” Byron said.
As goals go, it was one to remember. Byron completed a give-and-go with Flames defenceman Derek Smith and then lifted a shot over the glove of Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov.
To put a capper on the goal, all three of the team’s rookies played a part. Freshman defenceman T.J. Brodie started the rush, rookie Roman Horak made the pass to veteran Lee Stempniak in the neutral zone, and Byron teamed up with Smith after the feed came to him.
“That’s just a great play,” said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. “It’s quick passes out of your own zone, coming through the neutral zone with speed, pushing it wide and driving the net, getting it back and scoring.
“That’s a pretty goal, but it starts 200 feet from the opposition’s net and everything was done right up the ice, and using speed to do so. Those kids give us some tremendous minutes (Saturday).”
Byron, 22, wasn’t worried about scoring goals but could be thrilled about contributing right away.
“It gives me confidence going into the next few games,” Byron added. “It was great for our team, getting the early lead in the game to get some momentum.”
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak