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Three score first NHL goals in Saturday matinees

Three American Hockey League graduates netted the first goals of their NHL careers in Saturday afternoon action.

2007 AHL All-Star forward Tomas Fleischmann beat future Hockey Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur for his first NHL goal, helping the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils in East Rutherford, N.J.

Fleischmann, a 22-year-old third-year pro, was playing his ninth game of the season and 23rd of his NHL career for the Capitals. In 43 AHL games for the Hershey Bears this season, Fleischmann has tallied 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points.

Last year, Fleischmann led the Bears in postseason scoring with 32 points in 20 games, helping Hershey to a Calder Cup championship.

Earlier in the game, Devils forward Cam Janssen scored the first goal — and point — of his NHL career, snapping an 81-game drought.

Janssen, who also has one assist in nine AHL games with Lowell this season, is in his third professional season in the Devils organization.

On Long Island, Frans Nielsen picked up a goal and an assist and was named the game’s first star as the New York Islanders defeated Montreal, 3-2.

Nielsen earned his first two career NHL points in his 14th game with the Islanders. In his first season in North America, Nielsen also has 13 goals and 19 assists in 42 AHL games with Bridgeport.

Nielsen’s goal came off 2007 AHL All-Star goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who suffered his first loss in four starts for the Canadiens.

A total of 67 AHL graduates have now scored their first career National Hockey League goal this season.