After twice having thought he notched his first NHL goal, Derek Grant finally broke through in a big way for the Ducks.
Derek Grant’s luck looks to be changing.
A veteran of 92 NHL games spread over five seasons with the Senators, Flames, Sabres, Predators and Ducks heading into Friday's tilt against the Canadiens, Grant had seven assists to his credit. What he didn’t have—at least not officially—was a goal.
Twice in his career, the 27-year-old forward appeared to have put one in the goal column. On Jan. 8, 2017, he poked a loose puck past Canucks goalie Ryan Miller, but officials overturned the tally after ruling there was intent to blow, resetting the the-Predators forward back to zero. Then on Oct. 11 of this season, a goal against the Islanders was called back after a challenge for offsides.
Despite the two reversals, Grant continued plugging away, and the persistence finally paid off in Game No. 93.
With the Ducks leading the visiting Habs 1-0 in the first period, Grant potted a power play strike past goalie Carey Price, swatting home a rebound that wouldn’t be taken away, while also ending Anaheim’s drought on the man-advantage to start the season.
"It was a good feeling," Grant said.
After all that waiting, Grant wasn’t exactly going to stand pat.
In the third period, he joined in on a 97-second flurry of Ducks goals, netting the second of three, tapping in Andrej Kase’s pass from the behind the net on the backdoor for his second goal.
On the night, Anaheim scored a season-high six goals in the 6-2 win, their third in seven tries, while sending the Habs to a 1-6-1 record. Ducks goalie John Gibson stopped 49 shots in the victory, including a franchise record for shots faced (30) and saves (28) in a single period in the second. While Gibson was tasked with stopping them, it was Grant who finally got to experience putting his shots into the net and having them stay.
"They weren't the prettiest goals but I'll take them," Grant said.
All the way to the scoresheet.