New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who has helped lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals, is part of an exclusive club. Brodeur is one of 10 goalies who has scored a goal in an NHL game and one of two goalies who has scored twice. Here’s the complete list.
1. Billy Smith, 1979
Smith, who led the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83, became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in a game against Colorado. The Rockies pulled their goalie for an extra skater after the Islanders were called for a delayed penalty and Smith deflected a shot behind the net. Colorado’s Rob Ramage retrieved it and attempted to swing the puck back to a teammate on the blue line, but his pass missed the mark and rolled all the way down the ice and into his own team’s empty net. Smith, the last Islanders player to touch the puck, was credited with the goal. “One day I’ll be able to say whatever I want,” Smith told the New York Times in 1982. “I’ll tell people I shot the puck in.”
2 & 3. Ron Hextall, 1987 and 1989
Hextall, who played 11 of his 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, became the first NHL goalie to shoot and score a goal. With Philadelphia leading Boston 4-2, the Bruins pulled their goalie. Hextall corralled a loose puck to the left of the net and fired a 180-foot shot into the empty net. “I knew I had to get height on it to get it over a couple of guys,” Hextall said after the game. “I’d rather score a goal than get a shutout… I’m thinking about asking the coach to put me on the power play.”
Two years later, Hextall tallied a shorthanded goal in an 8-5 win over the Washington Capitals in the playoffs. “I don't know how many I'll score, but it's always a thrill.”
4. Chris Osgood, 1996
It would be seven years before another NHL goalie scored a goal. Osgood turned the trick against the Hartford Whalers, scoring an empty-net goal in the waning seconds of the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 win. “I went for it,” Osgood told reporters. “I had a chance in Toronto earlier this season and I was joking that the next time I had it I would shoot. I didn't look, I just shot it.”
5 & 6. Martin Brodeur, 1997 and 2000
Brodeur’s first career goal and the fifth by a goalie in NHL history came in a playoff win over the Montreal Canadiens. With New Jersey leading 4-2 late in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Canadiens pulled their goalie. Brodeur lifted a loose puck the length of the ice and into the empty net. “I was freaking out,” Brodeur said. “It was unbelievable . . . When I shot it, it went over everyone and I kind of lost it. Then I saw John MacLean raise his arms up and I said, ‘Wow. It's got to go in if he's doing that.’ Guys in front of me went on the side and I saw it go in.”
Brodeur’s second career goal came on a delayed penalty. The Flyers pulled their goalie and Brodeur was the last Devils player to touch the puck before Philadelphia’s Daymond Langkow accidentally put the puck in his own net.
7. Damian Rhodes, 1999
Brodeur had a rink-side seat for the seventh goal scored by an NHL goalie. After Brodeur headed to the bench on a delayed penalty call, Lyle Odelein’s errant pass found the back of New Jersey’s empty net. Rhodes, the last Ottawa Senators player to touch the puck, was credited with the goal. It was a good night for Rhodes, who shut out the Devils in a 6-0 win.
8. Jose Theodore, 2001
Theodore’s seventh career shutout was a memorable one, as he fired a back-handed shot into an empty net with nine seconds left in Montreal’s 3-0 win over the New York Islanders. “It was awesome,” Theodore said. “I clear the puck better with my backhand, and I just gave it a high arch. I was just trying to clear the zone. I was jumping all over the place. We got the win and the shutout, and I got a goal. It was a pretty good night for me.”
9. Evgeni Nabokov, 2002
Nabokov’s goal wasn’t quite as fluky as most of the goals on this list. With the Sharks on the power play and protecting a two-goal lead late in a game against Vancouver, Nabokov corralled a loose puck in front of his net and lofted a shot down the ice that found its way into the Canucks’ empty net. “I'm going to lie if I say it wasn't exciting,” he said.
10. Mika Noronen, 2004
Noronen entered the game after Buffalo’s starting goalie, Martin Biron, was pulled with Toronto leading 3-0 midway through the second period. The Sabres stormed back to take a 5-4 lead and Toronto pulled its goalie for an extra attacker late in the third period. Noronen deflected a shot by the Maple Leafs’ Robert Reichel into the corner. Reichel regained possession and fired a pass to the center of the zone, which trickled all the way down the ice and into his own goal. “This is my first one and hopefully not the last one,” Noronen said.
11. Chris Mason, 2006
Mason was credited with a goal on a delayed penalty when Phoenix’s Geoff Sanderson passed the puck into an empty net. “It was a cheesy goal,” said Mason, whose Nashville Predators defeated the Coyotes 5-1. “I don't even like counting one like that as a goal.”
12. Cam Ward, 2011
Ward, who became the 10th NHL goalie to score a goal, also did it in a cheesy way. The Hurricanes goalie was credited with a goal by virtue of being the last Carolina player to touch the puck before New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk passed the puck into his own net. “It would have been a lot cooler if I had shot the puck or did something like that,” Ward said.