Lakers alumnus Cal O'Reilly scored his first NHL goal on Saturday in the Predators' 4-3 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Since being called up by the Predators from the AHL Milwaukee Admirals on Thursday, O'Reilly has been in three consecutive Predators' victories:
- Thursday night the Preds defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 with O'Reilly going +1 with 14 minutes of ice time;
- Saturday night the Preds beat the Kings with O'Reilly getting his first NHL goal and going +2 with over 15 minutes of ice; and
- Sunday night the Preds defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 with O'Reilly again logging over 15 minutes of ice time.
O'Reilly's goal unfolded as follows, with 5:36 left in the period, O'Reilly intercepted Brad Richardson's pass inside the Kings' zone and sent the puck to Sullivan at the right dot. Sullivan returned the puck to O'Reilly in the high slot, where his one-timer beat Jonathan Quick on the glove side. (a video of the goal is available at the bottom of this article as well as an interview with O'Reilly between periods). Commenting on O'Reilly's goal, Coach Barry Trotz said "...very happy with Cal's game again... Cal scored a big goal for us... It was a huge goal... that they weren't able to pull away with two goals."
When asked how it felt to be called up after injuries sidelined Jason Arnott and David Legwand and with the Predators in the midst of a tight playoff race, O'Reilly said "I knew the situation they were in coming in, especially after losing their top two centermen. It gave me the opportunity to play on one of the top lines. It's a lot of pressure, but it's great pressure. You love that kind of situation." The Nashville newspaper, The Tennessean, ran an article on O'Reilly's call-up which is available by clicking here
On behalf of the Lakers, congratulations to Cal on his first NHL goal. It's great to see all Cal's hard work get rewarded with the call-up and scoring that first goal is a great bonus.
Video of Interview with O'Reilly between periods in Saturday's game Video of O'Reilly's first NHL goal