<
>

Rookie Teravainen registers first NHL goal

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen was bound to score sooner than later given the way he had been playing.

Each of his scoring chances over the previous three games seemed to get closer and closer to going inside the net. Teravainen finally broke through for his first NHL goal and point when he struck a loose puck in the slot past Winnipeg Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson in Friday's third period.

Teravainen and the Blackhawks hope it’s the first of many career points. Not since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane has a Blackhawks rookie received as much hype as the 20-year-old Teravainen has since making his NHL debut last season.

Teravainen was disappointed the Blackhawks lost in the end, but his goal is certainly a moment he won’t forget. He cut the Jets' lead to one with 7 minutes, 17 seconds remaining, and the sold-out United Center was in full celebration mode.

“It’s a nice feeling, of course, first goal,” Teravainen said. “I’ve been waiting for that. I think I had some chances last games. Right now I get it, so it’s good.”

Teravainen’s teammates could sense the goal was coming -- and he'd been close, with four shots on net Friday before he lit the lamp.

“He was around the puck a lot tonight and had a lot of good scoring chances,” Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell said. “I knew eventually one of those pucks are going to go in. It was nice to see him score that one, get some confidence. He’s a great player. He’s got a lot of offensive ability. We need him.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has seen Teravainen progress over his five games since being called up from AHL Rockford. Quenneville said he expects another step forward after the Finn got that first goal under his belt.

“He had some chances tonight,” Quenneville said. “I think three games in a row he had some good quality stuff and he had the puck in some areas. Nice to see him get the first one there. I think he’ll be better and more comfortable in the scoring as well.”