Carl Hagelin is heating up at the right time for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he’s not doing it on skill and luck alone. Hagelin, 27, laid out for a loose puck in order to knock home his 12th goal of the season.
Pittsburgh Penguins winger Carl Hagelin hasn’t exactly been what one would call a sniper throughout his five seasons in the NHL. His career high is 17 goals and he had only scored 11 goals in 76 games heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Hagelin, 27, has always had the raw ability, though, and he’s still young enough that his 20-goal season seems like an inevitability. But setting a career-high in goals requires a bit of luck to go along with some skill, and Hagelin combined both of those with a dash of determination for a fantastic tally Sunday evening.
Four minutes into the third frame, with the Penguins leading the Flyers 3-1, Pittsburgh worked the puck around the Philadelphia zone. Eventually the puck would make its way to Kris Letang, who rifled a shot towards Flyers netminder Steve Mason. On the way in, however, Letang’s shot was deflected by Nick Bonino, causing it to skitter across the face of the net and to Mason’s right.
The puck was laying in open space and Mason turned his head only to watch Hagelin dive at the loose puck and one-time it while in mid-air to knock home his 12th goal of the campaign:
Hagelin’s goal stood as the insurance goal in a 6-4 victory over the Flyers, and the tally gave him 36 points on the season and 10 points in his past 10 games. Hagelin has been a nice mid-season acquisition for the Penguins, and in 34 games in Pittsburgh he now has 24 points. That’s twice as many points as he had in 43 contests with the Anaheim Ducks to start the campaign.
Hagelin’s 36th point puts him only two back of matching his career high, and the Penguins have three games left in their season for Hagelin to notch his highest scoring season. Even if he doesn’t reach it this season, though, he seems to have found an offensive fit in Pittsburgh, and the Penguins’ roster shouldn’t be changing too much next season. That could spell good things for Hagelin for the remainder of the campaign, and throughout the three years of his four-year, $16-million deal.