Marian Hossa’s excitement was palpable, and understandably so.
The veteran right wing said he wasn’t putting pressure on himself to score that 500th career goal. But it was still out there, a carryover milestone-to-be from last season. Now, four games into this season, he has it.
Hossa scored his 500th career goal in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. The goal, which Hossa scored at 5:04 in the second period, gave the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead at the time. Hossa celebrated and immediately headed to the Blackhawks’ bench, where teammates congratulated him. Hossa also received a standing ovation when the goal was announced a few moments later.
Unfortunately, Hossa missed the end of the game after suffering a lower-body injury in the third period while blocking a shot. He did talk after the game, however, and was thrilled to have that 500th.
“To tell you the truth it just felt great,” said Hossa, who hoped to be ready for the Blackhawks’ game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. “Great reception from the fans and just kind of my career, just really quick. It’s 500 goals. I’m just glad to be a part of the company and thank all my teammates who I played with.”
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Artem Anisimov, who had the primary assist on that Hossa power-play goal, was as happy as Hossa was.
“It was so exciting, “Anisimov said. “He scored, like, 500 goals. It’s a huge milestone for him, and when I saw the puck cross the line, I was so happy from inside, and I just screamed like a kid, you know?”
It was one more great moment in a career filled with them for Hossa, who’s won three Stanley Cups in his time with the Blackhawks.
“Well it’s a tremendous accomplishment, tremendous career,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He has some offensive numbers that are really great to look at. The best part of his game is the consistency of being a pro night in, night out, being responsible on both sides of the puck. He plays hard every single game and night. He’s a good example for our young guys, learning how to play the right way, and nice to see him make that accomplishment tonight.”
Hossa didn’t put up the points he wanted to last season. He might not have those gaudy offensive numbers of the past. But he’s still a big part of the Blackhawks and added one more impressive number to his résumé.
“I mean, it’s only one goal but obviously there’s things happening on a power play on the second unit which is great. Guys scoring on the first unit too, so I think that’s where things are happening well for guys,” Hossa said. “I don’t even really think about it. Just glad to get this one out of the way.”