Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Nashville Predators star Pekka Rinne became the first NHL goalkeeper to score a goal since 2013, when he found the net during a win against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Rinne also stopped 29 of 31 shots in the 5-2 triumph Thursday at the United Center in Chicago. He scored his goal on an empty net with 21.4 seconds remaining.
"I obviously understand that it might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so I really enjoyed it," Rinne told reporters. "It was an awesome feeling, seeing the puck go in.
"To be honest with you, I thought it was curving left a little bit, and then it took a little correction and it ended up in the middle."
Rinne is the 12th goalie in NHL history to record a goal. Mike Smith was the last goalie to score. Smith scored for the Phoenix Coyotes against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 19, 2013. Longtime New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur scored three times from the net, including once during the regular season and twice during the playoffs. Former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron Hextall scored twice during his NHL tenure.
Viktor Arvidsson, Colin Blackwell and Matt Duchene each scored first period goals to give the Predators a 3-0 lead in Thursday's win. Dominik Kubalik lit the lamp for the Blackhawks in the second period. Alex DeBrincat scored on a power play 5:32 into the third period to cut the Predators' lead to one goal.
Nick Bonino scored an unassisted goal for Nashville with 37 seconds remaining to push the lead back to two goals, before Rinne found the open net.
The Predators (20-16-7) face the Winnipeg Jets at 2 p.m. EST Sunday at Bells MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Blackhawks (19-20-6) host the Anaheim Ducks at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the United Center.