Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Rasmus Sandin scores first NHL goal

Sporting News

Rasmus Sandin is doing just fine in his second NHL stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season.

Better than fine, really: Sandin got the proverbial monkey off his back Monday when he scored his first-ever NHL goal.

The goal came in the second period of Toronto's game against the Nashville Predators during an offensive zone possession for the Leafs. Forward Alexander Kerfoot took the puck directly to the net, only for Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to slap the puck away.

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The puck slid right out to open ice as Predators center Ryan Johansen drifted toward the net. Rinne was dragged out of his own crease when his pad collided with teammate Mattias Ekholm, too. That chaos gave Sandin an open net to shoot on for his first career goal.

That memorable tally wasn't Sandin's only highlight of the night. His long-range pass to William Nylander from the Leafs' own defensive zone created a breakaway and earned him an assist on the game's opening goal.

Sandin's two points on Monday give him six points total in his first 10 NHL games. Due to him reaching that 10-game mark, the first year of his entry-level contract with Toronto has officially burned — he will now become an RFA after the 2021-22 season. For the Leafs, it seems worth it. Sandin has scored all but one of his points since he was recalled after Morgan Rielly's injury and has played more often each game with Toronto shorthanded on defense.

Toronto (26-17-7, 59 points) won Monday's game in Nashville 5-2.

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