Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara picked up his 500th career point on a third-period goal in Monday's 6-3 win over the New York Islanders.
The 6'9" defenseman scored the game's final goal when he somehow bounced a wrist shot past Isles goaltender Kevin Poulin from just inside the New York blue line. Chara's long been known for his vicious slap shot, but the milestone point required some soft goaltending from Poulin, who was pulled immediately afterward.
Chara scored two goals in the Bruins' previous game, Saturday against the Flyers, and he's now tied for second among NHL defenseman with 12 goals this season, leaving him just one behind Nashville's Shea Weber.
For all his accolades, Chara has never led all defensemen in goals, and he's never scored more than 19 times in a season. He has a shot to accomplish both feats this year but likely has his eyes set on a bigger prize.
The Bruins are looking to make a second consecutive run to the Stanley Cup Final, and the team looked rather ordinary for much of December and January. With Chara leading the way, Boston has won the last three games by a combined score of 15-6 to pull within seven points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.
The Bruins have two games in hand and a much more favorable schedule, so they should be able to make a run at the uber-talented Penguins.