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Osgood followed in Hextall's path

Ozzie's goal gave Red Wings a 4-2 win over Hartford

Monday, 12.10.2012 / 10:57 AM ET / News
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Osgood followed in Hextall\'s path

Eight years after Ron Hextall became the first NHL goalie to shoot and score a goal in a regular-season game, Chris Osgood matched the feat for the Detroit Red Wings on March 6, 1996. It's only fitting that Osgood, a native of Peace River, Alberta, grew up idolizing Hextall when Hextall played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.

"He played junior out west, not near me but in the league I grew up watching," Osgood told NHL.com. "I always noticed how he played the puck, so I'd always try to copy him or do better the same things he did.

"He was really the first guy to ever be able to play the puck that way, icing it, making passes. He was far and away the best at it over everybody else, so all the goalies in my generation would try to top him. Coaches would tell me, 'Shoot the puck around the glass like Hextall does.'"

Osgood's goal, which gave the Red Wings a 4-2 lead against the Hartford Whalers, came when he grabbed a dump-in, took one step and lofted the puck down the ice and into the empty net -- the trajectory mirrored Hextall's shot. Scoring at the NHL level was something Osgood said he always tried but "never thought I would do in the NHL."

While Osgood matched Hextall’s accomplishment -- a feat only five goaltenders can claim -- he clarified Hextall's impact as a trailblazer for the goaltending position.

"He was just far and away the best puck player of any goalie, ever," Osgood said. "How hard he shot it, his lead passes, how accurate he was with the passes. He could clear the ice constantly. He changed the position, of the way the goalie could play.

"They should call [the trapezoid] the Hextall Line. He was the one who started it. All these young guys came out and played the puck better than anyone before them, and Hextall really started that."

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89