Blackhawks rookie forward Philipp Kurashev scored the first goal of his NHL career during the third period of Tuesday’s game against the Panthers.
Kurashev’s speed through the neutral zone has been noticeable in his brief NHL career, and he used that to his advantage for his first NHL goal. After corralling the puck near his own blue line, Kurashev skated the puck into the offensive zone, used Florida defenseman Radko Gudas as a partial screen and snapped a wrist shot past Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
Not only was it the first goal of Kurashev’s career, it also gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the season: a 4-3 advantage over the Panthers.
Kurashev came to the Blackhawks organization in the 2018 NHL Draft as a fourth-round selection (120th overall). He spent last season with the IceHogs in the AHL, scoring 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in 36 games during the pandemic-shortened ‘19-20 hockey season.
He made the Blackhawks roster out of training camp earlier this month but was a healthy scratch in the first game of the season against the Lightning. He made his NHL debut two nights later, skating 13:51 in the Blackhawks’ 5-2 loss on Jan. 15. He had similar stats in his second NHL game on Jan. 17 against the Panthers, collecting two shots on goal in 13:47 of ice time.