(Photo credit: NHL Youtube)

Marian Hossa’s ‘Grand’ Return to Ottawa

Marian Hossa played his first NHL game for the Ottawa Senators in 1997. In storybook fashion, he tallied his 1000th point back on their ice Thursday night.

It was a hard-fought game and if it could have been written as a screenplay, that 1,000th point, a beautiful wraparound goal that gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead with 6:10 left in the third, would have solidified victory for the Hawks.

But, this is hockey. And even with a standing ovation from Ottawa and Hawks fans alike to honor his accomplishment, and a surge of energy from Chicago, the Senators managed a comeback.

The game went to a shootout, and Hossa wouldn’t have the game-winning glory. Who needs it, though?

With Chicago, he’s twice lifted the Stanley Cup and he’s now the 80th in the 1000-point club, joining the ranks of Gordie Howe, Stan Mikita, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, and other esteemed players.

“It’s a great achievement, great milestone and I’m really thankful to all the players who helped me achieve this during my career. It doesn’t get better than that,” Hossa said. “It happened in Ottawa, where it started. I’m always going to remember that.” While the live show didn’t give Hossa a game-winner, the game definitely played out in dramatic fashion.

The Blackhawks did all they could to lose this game. While they led 39-32 in shots, they also led in penalties, 6-5, and giveaways, 10-7. They led themselves to a scoreless overtime and then a shootout.

Scott Darling may have let in seemingly easy goals throughout regulation in the game, but the Senators had nothing on him in the shootout. Darling, whose last three games were seemingly an audition for backup to Corey Crawford, stopped 28 shots in the game for a .875 save percentage. As of Friday morning, he was released to the AHL Rockford IceHogs.

Craig Anderson, in net for Ottawa, saved 35 of 39 in regulation and the shootout’s first two shooters.

        1. Ottawa’s Kyle Turrishe went wide to the right then shot in the middle, where he was stopped by Darling.
        2. Chicago’s Toews–he came in fast with a forehand-backhand move blocked by Anderson.
        3. Ottawa’s Chiasson–he attempted to move wide left and shoot forehand in the middle, but Darling grabbed the shot.
        4. Chicago’s Kane–his patented fast-slow, frequent dekes took him to the net and over Anderson only to hit crossbar and bounce out.
        5. Ottawa’s Ryan–he moved in slowly up the middle and shot for the five-hole only to be denied.
        6. Chicago’s Patrick Sharphe approached with patience then fast hands close to the net, lifting the puck up and over Anderson for the win.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa would have been Chicago’s fourth shooter had Sharp, the team’s leading scorer not sealed the deal.


Hossa’s Career Highlights

While a highlight reel of Hossa’s professional career would be a long watch, here are some favorites:


More Milestones–Jonathan Toews: 19 and 199

Toews’ two goals in Ottawa led him to his 199th career goal.

Here’s a Toews fan-created highlight reel to relive some of his glory:

Kane also reached a career milestone this week. More on that later.

The Blackhawks are on the road. They play the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m. CT Saturday.

Carly grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.


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