“My initial thoughts went right to my mom,” he said in the postgame presser. “I’ve had that celebration in the bank for a few years now, so it was weight off my shoulders to finally score the first one.
“She’s in my heart, she’s on my back. Hard to not get emotional about it,” he added.
Hamblin’s mother, Gina, died of cancer in September 2017.
Hamblin made his NHL debut last season and played 10 games but didn’t score. His goal on Saturday, which comes in the middle of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer month, was followed by the touching tribute.