Goal scoring has been hard to come by for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.
This fact makes it all the sweeter when new sources begin to produce.
The Blue Jackets' most recent addition to the NHL goal-scoring club is Vladislav Gavrikov, who scored his first NHL goal Friday night in the Blue Jackets' 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Gavrikov, creeping up in the Blue Jackets' offensive zone, corralled a loose puck off a Pierre-Luc Dubois rebound and backhanded a shot past Blues goaltender, Jake Allen. As far as first goals goes, it was impressive.
Gavrikov, who has already played 18 regular season and 2 post-season games for the club, spoke to the media after the overtime win.
"Of course it's a great feeling to score at home," Gavrikov said on his first NHL goal. "It's a big moment for me."
The 23 year-old Russian defenseman, and a man of few words, succinctly described the scoring play in his post-game presser. "I just saw the puck in front of me and tried the shot right away," he said of the backhand goal.
Gavrikov continued to speak about his philosophy in contributing to the teams' offense, looking for opportunities to create some chances.
"I'm trying to join the rush if I have a moment," he said. "But first of all, I need to play good on defense."
Finally, Gavrikov touched on what worked for the Blue Jackets team after two sloppy periods of play. "We just tried to play simple and try to find rebounds and chances on the powerplay."
It's a tremendously special night for Gavrikov and further special that the goal contributed to a win. With the Columbus Blue Jackets' scoring woes well documented, it is a positive for the team to see one of their younger players budding in the offensive categories.
If Gavrikov increases his production, it will be a welcome start-up for an offensively inconsistent team. Whether it does or does not continue, the goal remains a special occasion for the young player, a moment that can never be taken from him.