Marian Hossa knows about being stuck on a number. The Chicago Blackhawks forward was stuck on 499 goals dating all the way back to the beginning of last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hossa had a sizeable goal drought due to the fact that he isn’t getting any younger, and the NHL is now a young man’s league (don’t tell that to Jaromir Jagr however.)
Many fans were left wondering after Chicago’s disappointing first round exit if Hossa would score his 500th career goal anytime soon. But, like a world renowned baseball hitter breaking out of a slump, Hossa silenced his critics against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. The milestone goal came on the powerplay five minutes into the second period.
The Slovak forward received a pass in the offensive zone from Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov , powering his way to the net despite Philadelphia defenseman Andrew MacDonald hanging on his shoulder, with the puck on his backhand before putting it in the back of the net. Immediately following the goal, Hossa skated around center ice, his stick raised to the sky in appreciation of the crowd’s raucous cheering. He is the 44th person in NHL history to reach the 500 goal mark.
The goal increased the Blackhawks lead to 4-0 in the game, with the Blackhawks relinquishing the lead before adding two goals, including an empty-netter, from Artem Anisimov and a goal from Artemi Panarin, clinching the 7-4 result in favor of the Blackhawks.
However, Hossa would leave the game and not return after due to a lower body injury when he blocked a shot, it was later announced that the injury is not serious and that Hossa will not miss significant time.
The Chicago Blackhawks are back in action on Friday, taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first time this season on the road.