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Zdeno Chara Scores, Ending 108-Game Drought Without A Goal

BOSTON (CBS) -- It took until the middle of April, but Zdeno Chara has finally found the back of the net.

The veteran among veterans tallied a goal late in Thursday night's Islanders loss to the Penguins. The goal itself was mostly meaningless -- it briefly cut New York's deficit to 5-3 with 68 seconds left to play -- but for Chara, it ended a 108-game stretch without a goal.

Prior to that blast from the top of the faceoff circle, Chara hadn't scored since Feb. 1 of 2021 in a game against the Bruins, when he was playing for the Washington Capitals. At that point, Chara scored two goals in a three-game stretch. But he would end up going without a goal in his final 45 regular-season games and five postseason games before failing to score on any of his 75 shots on goal this season.

That ended with one blast:

The goal was the 208th tally of the 45-year-old's career, which spans 1,672 games.

It was his first goal as a member of the Islanders since Jan. 12, 2001 -- a goal which coincidentally also came against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mario Lemieux and a 29-year-old Jaromir Jagr were on the ice for Pittsburgh that night, for some perspective on how long ago that was.

The always-stoic Chara couldn't help but celebrate a little bit after Thursday's goal. But he still wished it came as part of a victory.

"It's always nice to score a goal in the NHL. Way too many opportunities where I kind of hit a crossbar or post this season," he said." To finally get one -- too bad it wasn't earlier or a better time in the game. Hopefully the next one is going to help us win a hockey game."

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