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Chris Kreider was removed from Injured Reserve on Monday, his first clue that he just might be returning to the lineup Tuesday following a five-game absence due to a chipped bone in his ankle. He got the official word after the morning skate Tuesday at the Prudential Center, and then went out and scored his first regular-season National Hockey League goal in the Rangers 3-1 loss to the Devils.
"I closed my eyes and shot, I'm serious," Kreider explained after the game. "I didn't know it went in at first. I thought (Martin Brodeur) made the save. It would've meant something had we won, but we didn't. And that's the most important thing."
Kreider, of course, scored five goals in the playoffs last spring after finishing his collegiate career with an NCAA championship at Boston College. But his goal Tuesday---in his fourth regular season game---will go down as his first official NHL goal.
Brad Richards dished to Kreider on left wing moments after a successful penalty kill by the Rangers, and Kreider zipped it under the crossbar shortside with a wicked left-wing shot.
Watch Chris Kreider's first NHL goal here, then comment on it, and his overall game Tuesday, below.