Soshnikov scores first NHL goal in Leafs loss

Playing in just his second career NHL game, Leafs prospect Nikita Soshnikov collected his first career NHL goal in Toronto’s 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Wednesday.

In the second period, Soshnikov took a short pass from Nazem Kadri, skated to the faceoff circle and wired a shot above the shoulder of goaltender Philipp Grubauer, just underneath the crossbar. The 22-year-old Russian could be heard screaming a loud “Woooo!” in celebration.

Washington was staked to an early 2-0 lead after Taylor Chorney and Alex Ovechkin scored 28 seconds apart, late in the first period.

Soshnikov brought the Leafs to within a goal through forty minutes of play. Colin Greening managed to tie the game with his second marker of the year at 8:16 of the third period.

But after Soshnikov took a boarding penalty just over a minute later, Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen fired home the game-winner past Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier.

For Niskanen, it was his second power play game-winner in as many nights, leading his team to victory over Pittsburgh in similar fashion, just 24 hours earlier.

The game also marked the return of Brooks Laich to Verizon Center. Laich was acquired by the Leafs on Sunday night after spending 12 seasons with Washington.  He was honoured with a video tribute during the first TV stoppage of the opening period.

(Soshnikov photo credit: