(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.
Marian Hossa: scored 1,000th career point in his 1,100th career game. scored 1,000th career point vs team with which he scored point #1
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) October 31, 2014
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.
- Just under three minutes into the game, Mark Stone gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead with an easy, unobstructed five-hole shot set up by Curtis Lazar and Cody Ceci.
- At 11:25 into the period, Hossa got his 999th point assisting Captain Jonathan Toews‘ goal–a gritty battle at the net to tie the game. Bryan Bickell was also credited with an assist.
- A few minutes later, Kris Versteeg showed some finesse, threading through Ottawa defense to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead on a pass from Brad Richards.
- Clarke MacArthur capitalized on a Chicago penalty and Chicago’s trend for mediocre second periods with a closeup slapshot to a busy net for another five-hole goal and another tied game. David Legwand and Patrick Wiercioch assisted on the play.
- Bobby Ryan then opened the third period by stealing a Blackhawks pass in front of the net and blasting it into the goal–giving the Senators a 3-2 lead.
- Seven minutes later, Toews tied it up again, with a spin and a seemingly easy shot on a play set up by Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.Then came Hossa’s 1000th point–the goal that could’ve, would’ve, should’ve won the game. Versteeg sent a pass behind the net and Hossa wrapped it around into the goal for the 4-3 lead.
- Mika Zibanejad wouldn’t have it, though. He took a slapshot five-hole on a play set up by Chiasson and Erik Karlsson.
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.
- Ottawa’s Kyle Turris—he went wide to the right then shot in the middle, where he was stopped by Darling.
- Chicago’s Toews–he came in fast with a forehand-backhand move blocked by Anderson.
- Ottawa’s Chiasson–he attempted to move wide left and shoot forehand in the middle, but Darling grabbed the shot.
- Chicago’s Kane–his patented fast-slow, frequent dekes took him to the net and over Anderson only to hit crossbar and bounce out.
- Ottawa’s Ryan–he moved in slowly up the middle and shot for the five-hole only to be denied.
- Chicago’s Patrick Sharp—he 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.