It may have taken almost three months but Patric Hornqvist was back on the scorer’s sheet with an even strength goal. Hornqvist, who has been the topic of discussion recently regarding his play, finally found the back of the net Sunday night in the Penguins 3-1 statement win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The scoring play started with some nifty skating and puck retrieval by Dominik Simon, who shuffled a no-look pass back to Hornqvist for the one-timer. The Swede shot. The Swede scored. Swede emotion. It was Hornqvist first even-strength goal since Jan. 5.
The goal extended the Penguins led to 3-0 and came the same day that PHN’s Dan Kingerski predicted Hornqvist’s lack of even strength production was coming to an end. Hornqvist ended Sunday’s game with 14:21 of ice-time and was named the third star of the game.
Despite his dry spell this year, Hornqvist has annoyed opposing teams and provided physicality in bunches. The goal was Hornqvist’s 18th of the year. He has never failed to score 20 goals in a full NHL season.
“Yeah, it was nice. I’ve been struggling lately to find the back of the net. I’ve been getting a lot of chances,” Hornqvist said. “Hopefully, they come in bunches.”
Not coincidentally, in his career Hornqvist has scored more goals in March than any other month, and it’s not even close. He has 45 goals and 38 assists in 142 games played. Also not coincidentally, Hornqvist has played more games in March than any other month.
He is a gamer and big game player, too.
Besides his name chiseled twice into the Stanley Cup, he remains cemented in playoff history by scoring the game-winning goal in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals to help his team hoist their second straight cup. He also added an empty-net goal in the decisive game six of the 2016 Finals against San Jose.
In his five-year Penguins career, Hornqvist has tallied 115 goals, 114 assists, and 755 hits.