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Wild Night for Mark Friedman; Gets First NHL Goal, Almost Knocked Out



It may have been one of the best periods in the short NHL career of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman.  He scored his first NHL goal and was a physical presence. However, it was the physicality that may leave Friedman’s memory of his second Penguins game a little fuzzy.

First, the good stuff.

Early in the first period, Friedman got his first NHL goal and did it against the team who drafted him and subsequently waived him last week. Friedman’s goal was the Penguins second marker in 34 seconds, and the second of three goals in 71 seconds.

That was the fastest three goals scored in the NHL this season.

Here’s Mark Friedman’s first NHL goal:

After that, Friedman was on the receiving end of an ugly boarding penalty by Nolan Patrick. Friedman went back on a puck and Patrick slammed him into the wall. The hit resulted in the Penguins getting a power-play, though they came up empty.

Here’s a look at the hit:

A case easily could’ve been made for this to be a five-minute major but referee Tim Peel only assessed a minor. Friedman returned to the game later in the period, despite limping down the tunnel.

That wasn’t the end of Freidman’s wild half-game.

Friedman and Patrick again came face-to-face mid-way through the second period. Friedman tried to make a hit on Patrick but got the worst of it and Friedman’s head hit the ice:

Referees blew the whistle when Friedman stumbled trying to get back on his feet. He had to be helped off and did not return.

This is just his second game in a Penguin uniform since general manager Ron Hextall claimed him off waivers. He got his first NHL point on Tuesday night against Philadelphia as he assisted on Cody Ceci’s goal. It capped off an outstanding passing play that was reminiscent of Ron Hainsey’s goal in Game 5 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

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