Goals are usually at a premium in the postseason. Defenses get tighter and goaltenders get sharper so scores tend to get smaller come April, May and June.
As a result, the goals tend to get uglier. There aren't nearly many dangles off the left wing or tic-tac-toe passing plays leading to scores. There are plenty of ugly goals from the blue paint which hit off legs, feet, butts or other body parts.
There aren't too many "back" goals though.
Penguins rookie right winger was able to use that portion of his anatomy to score an unusual goal in Monday's 3-2 win against the Capitals in Game 3 of their second round series.
Center Matt Cullen pushed the puck up the left wing and tried to feed a pass to the crease for Kunhnhackl to score through conventional means with his stick. But Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen managed to get a stick on the pass and block it's pursuit ... somewhat.
The puck fluttered into the air and deflected off Kuhnhackl's back past the glove hand of Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby:
It might have been improbably or even fluky. But it wasn't an accident. Kuhnhackl explained the goal after today's morning skate:
Did you know the puck had hit your back? Could you feel it?
"I kind of saw it coming and I figured it was going to hit me. I tried to stay as calm as possible. Don't move. Make like a movement towards the puck and it went in."
So you tried to make as broad of a surface for it to hit?
"Yeah, kind of. Just tried to get as big as possible there. I'm glad it hit me."
Cullen was clearly trying to feed you pass for you to score with your stick.
"I think he made a pretty good fake and Holtby bit on it and went down. Obviously, he tried to slide it over and it went off … I think Niskanen's stick. I'm just glad it went in."
They all count no matter how you get them to go in, right?
"I don't think anyone cares how they go in as long as they go in. There's a saying; They don't ask how. They ask how many."
Have you ever scored a goal that strange or bizarre?
"The one I scored in Boston this year where I slid in the net with the puck, that was similar to that. But like I said, I don't care how they go in."
Note: Kunhackl scored a goal with his skates in a 5-1 road loss to the Bruins Feb 24:
Did any of your teammates give you any grief over the goal Monday?
"Ha... a little bit."
(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)