Oula Palve had to wait a little longer than he would have liked for his first professional goal in North America.
Palve, a 27-year-old undrafted free agent signing by the Penguins this summer, scored his first of the season on Saturday, in his 22nd game of the season. It wasn't the prettiest of goals, but it was a goal:
"It hit my thigh, my pants and went in," Palve recalled to me on Sunday. "Sometimes when you're not scoring you just have to go in front of the net and you get lucky. That's kind of what happened. But I got my goal, so I'm happy."
"It gives me some confidence and releases some tension," Palve said of snapping his drought. "When you're an offensive-minded player, you want to produce."
One goal in 22 games isn't ideal, but the 6-foot, 180-pound Palve looked pretty strong otherwise in his first season in North America. He's always been more of a guy who sets up goals more often than he scores them -- in his last season in Finland, he scored 16 goals and 35 assists in 51 games.