Lightning's all-Black line makes NHL history after starting game versus Panthers

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The Lightning's all-Black forward line made hockey history on Monday night. (Getty)
The Lightning's all-Black forward line made hockey history on Monday night. (Getty)

Mathieu Joseph, Gemel Smith and Daniel Walcott made NHL history on Monday night.

The three forwards formed the first ever all-Black forward line to start an NHL game, according to Tampa Bay Lightning play-by-play broadcaster Dave Randorf.

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After the game, a jubilant Joseph commented on the importance and the significance of the moment.

“Honestly, it was pretty awesome,” Joseph said. “[Anthony Duclair] started on the other side, too, and I thought it was great, man. I think it’s a step in the right direction and obviously you gotta thank the coaching staff for that, it was their call, but it was definitely fun to have some progress and clearly it's a process over this, but seeing that, and I don’t know if it was the first, but I think it was great to see and I’m glad I was part of it.”

Joseph has appeared in all 56 games for Tampa Bay this season, recording 12 goals and 19 points on the year.

His linemates, Smith and Walcott, are not regulars on the big-league roster but were called up as several Lightning members were out with injuries and Pat Maroon was serving a one-game suspension.

Smith has appeared in five games for Tampa Bay this season, registering three assists, while Walcott, 27, made his NHL debut on Monday night.

Tampa Bay lost the game 4-0 to the Florida Panthers, but it’s fair to say the impact this game had on the sport of hockey is far greater than any boxscore.

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