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Chara Scores 1st Goal of Season, 21-Year Gap

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Zdeno Chara

In the 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara scored his first goal of the season.

Not only did his goal late in the third snap a 108-game goal-scoring drought, but Zdeno Chara also accomplished a feat that no one in the NHL will ever do again.

It was Zdeno Chara’s first goal in a New York Islanders jersey since Jan. 12, 2001, a 21-year gap between goals with the same team. And it was a vintage Chara goal, via the slapshot, off the far post and in.

Coincidentally, that last goal on Jan. 12, 2001 came against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This goal seemed to be coming as earlier on in the contest, Zdeno Chara rung the post on a shorthanded odd-man rush.

The last time Chara had scored a goal was back on May 11, 2021, with the Washington Capitals coincidentally against the Boston Bruins. Chara played for the Bruins for 14 seasons and was a member of the Capitals for just one season.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s always nice to score a goal in the National Hockey League,” Chara said. “Obviously I had way too many opportunities where I’ve hit a crossbar or post this season and it finally went in.”

“Too bad it wasn’t earlier, better timing of the game. Hopefully, the next one is going to help us win it.”

Zdeno Chara was drafted by the New York Islanders back in the third round of the 1996 NHL Entry Level Draft. After playing four seasons with the New York Islanders, from 1997 to 2001, Chara was shipped to the Ottawa Senators in a deal for Alexei Yashin.

His return to the island this season allowed for his career to come full circle.

It may have taken Chara 73 games to find the back of the net, but he did it before the season’s end. And that goal could very well be Zdeno Chara’s last goal ever in the NHL, his 208th goal of his career.

“I’m glad he got one,” Barry Trotz said. “He’s gonna get through this year with another goal and add to the Hall of Fame career.”

“Everybody was really happy for him.”

 

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