The play of Flyers rookie blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere, 22, has been one of the best stories of the season, and Gostisbehere’s brilliant campaign got even better Saturday afternoon as he blasted his way into the record book.
Entering Saturday, Gostisbehere had the second longest point streak by a rookie defenseman in NHL history. Gostisbehere had picked up an assist Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres to stretch his point streak to 10 games, tying the previous mark set by Barry Beck in the 1977-78 season. So when Gostisbehere touched the puck in the matinee against the New Jersey Devils, there was reason for excitement.
Heading into the third period, Gostisbehere still hadn’t found the score sheet, but he finally broke through — and at an important time — in the third period. Philadelphia was down 1-0 when they earned a power play. With nearly four minutes gone in the frame and less than a minute left on the man advantage the puck was worked back to Gostisbehere, and he unloaded a blast that found its way through Devils goaltender Cory Schneider:
Gostisbehere’s goal give him 10 on the season and 30 points in 36 games this season, which is good for the third-best points per game of any rookie in the league with a minimum of 10 games played. Gostisbehere’s goal also made him only the fifth rookie to break the 30-point mark this season, joining Arizona’s Max Domi, Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, Detroit’s Dylan Larkin and Chicago’s Artemi Panarin.
Gostisbehere is already making a strong case to be the first Flyer to win the Calder Trophy, but breaking the rookie mark for a point streak by a defenseman is an impressive accolade that makes his freshman campaign even more impressive.
“If you were telling me I was going to do this going into the season, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Gostisbehere told CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio Friday. “I mean it is a compliment to my teammates, all the coaching staff for putting me in these situations.