Tomas Tatar scored the game-winning goal for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night in Los Angeles but that fact isn't what will make the goal so memorable. Instead it was the dedication to his father after the goal.
Tatar was playing the game on a heavy heart as his father Jan died of a liver problem only a couple of days ago back in Slovakia. Before heading back home to attend his father's funeral, Tatar decided to play two games in Southern California and that's when he potted the goal on a rebound and celebrated by pointing to the sky.
From the AP:
"That game and that goal was for him," Tatar said. "I felt he was with us the whole game. It wasn't easy, but the guys helped me a lot. They helped me think about stuff other than my dad."
Tatar made the long trip home during Detroit's holiday break to see his father, but he isn't sure whether Jan, a former soccer player, realized his son is headed to the Olympics next month.
"I was hoping he could make it through," Tatar said. "I just wanted to work as hard as I could for my dad. This game was for him."
Tatar will play for the Wings on Sunday night in Anaheim before heading home for his father's funeral, missing a game against the Rangers next week.
It marked the third straight game with a goal for Tatar but this one obviously felt different. His coach Mike Babcock was impressed with how the 23-year-old Tatar handled himself.
"The way you honor your father or your mother when they pass is by continuing to do what you should do," Babcock said. "Playing hard and doing things well. I lost my mom early, too. I never wanted to let her down. And his dad is here with him."