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First NHL goal ‘big relief’ for Blackhawks’ Bedard

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First NHL goal ‘big relief’ for Blackhawks’ Bedard

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BOSTON — With Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito and other hockey greats in the building to celebrate the start of the Bruins’ 100th season, Blackhawks phenom Connor Bedard took another early step toward joining them on Wednesday night when he scored his first career NHL goal.

“It’s a big relief,” said Bedard, who posed with the puck in the locker room after the 3-1 loss to Boston. “You want to get one really bad, quick, and kind of get that out of the way. But it was really cool moment and cool building to do it in.”

David Pastrnak scored to break a second-period tie and added an empty-netter for Boston, which won its season opener a year after setting NHL records for wins and points but then losing in the first round of the playoffs.

The Bruins victory spoiled the milestone for Bedard, the league’s most anticipated rookie in nearly a decade. The No. 1 overall draft pick also registered his first penalty and gave the Blackhawks a scare when he crashed into the boards skates-first late in the third period and was slow getting up.

He remained in the game and pronounced himself “great” afterward.

“I think he was more gassed, and tired and disappointed that he missed,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “He’s fine. He just missed a chance there. When he was going in there, I thought the game was going to be tied.”

Arvid Soderblom stopped 32 shots for the Blackhawks, who beat Pittsburgh in their opener on Tuesday, when Bedard had an assist for his first NHL point. He topped that in Boston when he scored on a wraparound that beat Ullmark and made it 1-0.

With his goal, Bedard became the fourth-ever No. 1 overall pick, and first since Nathan MacKinnon in 2013-14, to record points in each of his first two career games as an 18-year-old.

“I remember, like, being behind the net and kind of seeing it and I was just like, ‘Don’t screw this up,'” Bedard said. “And then once it went in, just a lot of joy, for sure.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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