Marian Hossa took the puck up the right side, making defenders twist and slap at the puck as he skated past.
There was the swiftness that has made Hossa one of the best two-way players in the league.
Then came the shot, nothing pretty like off a play Patrick Kane might make, but an effective one after Hossa had worked so hard to get face to face with the goaltender.
There, at last, was goal No. 500 in Hossa’s career. It came 5 minutes, 4 seconds into the second period of what looked to be a sure Blackhawks victory.
It wasn’t without some hairy moments. The Hawks relinquished a four-goal lead before Artem Anisimov scored the winner and added an empty netter in the third period as the Hawks survived with a 7-4 victory over the Flyers.
Hossa, meanwhile, was not on the ice as the Hawks secured the victory. He exited the game in the third period after he was injured blocking a shot. But before he left, Hossa got the milestone goal and was able to smile through his pain after the game.
“I’m just glad to be a part of the company and I thank all my teammates who I played with,” Hossa said.
Hossa’s 500th goal came almost 18 years after he scored his first on Dec. 9, 1998 — one Hossa said he recalled — when a Clinton was president and R. Kelly and Celine Dion had the
No. 1 song in the country with “I’m Your Angel.”
Hossa certainly joins some sainted company with his goal Tuesday. He became just the 44th player to reach that milestone and is fourth among active players in goals scored. He was glad his 500th came the way it did — hard-earned — and not on an empty-netter with the game almost over.
“I definitely didn’t want to take 500 into an empty net,” Hossa said. “I’m just glad it happened during the game and just feels good.”
His teammates mobbed Hossa as he returned to the bench following the goal and a deafening roar came from the crowd as Hossa skated out to center ice to acknowledge the cheers.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment, tremendous career,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “The best part of his game is the consistency of being a pro night in, night out, being responsible both sides of the puck, plays hard every single game.”
The Flyers scored four goals, including two from Matt Read, in the span of 5:36 between the end of the second and beginning of the third periods that almost ruined Hossa’s night. But the Hawks rebounded with strong play from Anisimov, who had his best game of the season.
Hossa watched from the training room as the Hawks won. He said he would be fine though he was not sure if he could play Friday.
But after being at 499 goals throughout the offseason, at least one worry was now off his shoulders.
“To tell you the truth, it just felt great …” Hossa said. “I’m just glad to get this one out of the way.”
Hartman close: Winger Ryan Hartman participated in the Hawks’ morning skate Tuesday and while he did not play against the Flyers, he is targeting a return to the lineup Friday in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Hartman suffered a lower-body injury Friday in the Hawks’ 3-2 loss to the Predators. Jordin Tootoo was in the lineup Tuesday after missing Monday’s practice because of an illness.
Chris Hine’s three stars
1. Marian Hossa, Blackhawks: Winger notched his 500th goal.
2. Artemi Panarin, Blackhawks: Scored two goals, assisted another.
3. Artem Anisimov, Blackhawks: Scored two goals, including the winner
At Blue Jackets, 6 p.m. Friday; CSN.