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How Tomas Plekanec scored his goals in 2013 - Part 1

Plekanec was actually the inspiration behind this project last season, as his season without wingers produced his first sub-20 goal season in a long time. Let's look at this year's goals and compare them to last year.

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January 22nd, 2013: Raphael Diaz finds Brian Gionta at the defensive blue line and begins a breakout. Gionta skates it down the wing and gains the offensive zone, then finds Tomas Plekanec in an open lane, uncovered in the slot. Plekanec takes the pass, then snaps the puck through Scott Clemmensen. Even better, he's open because of Alex Kovalev's lazy backcheck. This goal was a team effort off the rush.

January 24th, 2013: Gionta passes the puck up to Andrei Markov on the point, who gives it right back and switches positions with Diaz. Gionta gives the puck to Diaz, who one-touches it to Markov. Markov immediately passes it back, which Diaz one-times towards the net. Markov is first on the loose puck, and while the Capitals are trying to get set for a shot from him, passes it to Plekanec, who one-times it past Michal Neuvirth. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.

January 29th, 2013: Rene Bourque knocks the puck loose in the corner with a check, and Plekanec sends the puck up to Diaz at the point. Diaz and Markov pass the puck back and forth, and Plekanec drifts up to the top of the right circle. Diaz puts a pass in his skates, which Plekanec controls, then he takes a slap shot that beats Ondrej Pavalec. There is a passing play before the goal, but Plekanec just flat out beats Pavelec, so I'm going to call this one an individual effort on a zone play.

January 30th, 2013: Diaz passes to Markov at the blueline, who skates down the boards and tries to find Rene Bourque on the other side of the zone. His pass hits Erik Karlsson's stick though, which is recovered by Plekanec for a shot. Craig Anderson stops it but lets out a rebound, which Plekanec also grabs and pushes through Anderson for a goal. Grabbing two loose pucks to create the opportunity on his own, this one is an individual effort on a zone play.

February 7th, 2013: Bourque gains the zone and beats two Sabres, taking a hit to open up Plekanec for a last second pass. Plekanec waits for Tyler Myers to commit and snaps the puck past Ryan Miller from a sharp angle. Bourque's effort to draw two Sabres towards him and find Plekanec just edges this one out of individual effort territory for me, making it a team effort off the rush.

February 7th, 2013: Plekanec gets sprung for a breakaway by Gionta, and once he gets deep enough lets a wrist shot go. Miller thinks he stopped it as it hits his pad, but it bounces over him and into the net. This goal was an individual effort off the rush.

February 16th, 2013: Plekanec wins a puck battle in the corner and sends it along the boards where it's stopped by Bourque. Bourque finds Plekanec alone in the slot, but as Plekanec gets set for the shot with a nice spinerama, he finds Brayden Coburn sprawled out and in his way, blocking the shot. Undeterred, Plekanec scoops up the puck and shoots again, beating Brian Boucher high glove. This goal was an individual effort on a zone play.

Tomorrow we'll break down the rest of Plekanec's goals in 2013.