It might have been Game 1 out of 82, but Hendrix Lapierre’s first NHL goal might go down as the most memorable moment of the 2021-22 season. Taking a pass from TJ Oshie, the 19-year-old sent a shot towards the net that squeaked through Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Lapierre tumbled hard into the end boards, later admitting he didn’t know he scored until he heard the roar of the Capitals’ crowd. The rookie was then picked up and mobbed by a grinning TJ Oshie, which began a raucous celebration on the ice. Lapierre was congratulated at the bench by Alex Ovechkin, who Hendrix was a huge fan of growing up. So much so that he had one of Ovechkin’s fathead’s on his wall.
While that all sounds like a perfect story, there was one thing absent from Lapierre’s goal: no. 29 Lapierre jerseys in the crowd. It’s both a sign of the times and just how fast Lapierre’s rise to the NHL has been.