Teemu Hartikainen spent several weeks after the NHL lockout ended with the Edmonton Oilers but has rejoined the Barons for what he hopes is another extended playoff run.
Hartikainen, a 22-year-old forward from Finland, played a key role last season when the Barons reached the Western Conference finals.
Reassigned to Oklahoma City on Thursday, the day before the playoffs opened, Hartikainen scored a goal and added an assist Friday night in the Barons' 4-3 overtime loss to Charlotte in Game 1 of a best-of-5 series.
“Last year we played a lot of (playoff) hockey,” Hartikainen said. “I definitely want to play more this year. This is a great group of guys. I love the playoffs.”
BARONS SCORE UNUSUAL GOAL
The Barons took a 3-2 lead late in the second period when Hartikainen's attempted pass was deflected from behind the goal over the net to teammate Josh Green, who scored with 1:15 left in the period.
“I'm not (Wayne) Gretzky,” said Hartikainen, confessing it wasn't planned. “It just happened. I was like, ‘Wow.'”
Green isn't exactly sure what happened.
“I think sticks just came together and it flipped over,” Green said. “I saw it go up in the air. When I saw it come in front of the net I started to lick my chops.”
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