(AP) — Raymond Sawada not only gave himself a memorable birthday gift, he also helped the Dallas Stars overcome the loss of injured Brad Richards for one game.
Sawada scored his first NHL goal on his 24th birthday, and Fabian Brunnstrom had a goal and an assist to lead the Stars past the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2, Thursday night.
The rookie right wing, recalled from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose earlier in the day, gave the Stars a 2-0 lead in his first career game.
"Coming here, first and foremost, was a great birthday present," Sawada said. "Getting that goal and the win was even better."
Sawada is in his first professional season out of Cornell University. He has five goals and 13 assists in 48 games for the Moose this season.
After Krys Barch scored to put the Stars on top 1-0, Sawada flipped a backhanded shot that got past Roloson at 16:36 of the first.
"Ray is a great example of how young players develop" in the AHL, Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "He has been well-coached and this is a hard step. He was very good tonight."