Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux joined an illustrious group Monday night with a pair of goals and an assist in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to reach 1,000 career NHL points.
Giroux becomes the 96th player to achieve the milestone.
The 35-year-old entered the game needing two points to hit the momentous marker and took less than one period to make it happen.
Giroux picked up point 999 with his 33rd goal of the season at the five-minute mark of the period and number 1,000 came on an assist when he set up Tim Stutzle with under three minutes remaining in the period.
Captain Brady Tkachuk had a secondary assist on the play and motioned to his teammates to join him on the ice to celebrate the moment.
Giroux scored his second of the night midway through the third to give Ottawa (39-35-7) a 3-2 lead, and the win, tying his career-high of 34 set in 2017-18.
Mads Sogaard was impressive in a 27-save performance to ensure the victory.
The Hurricanes (50-21-9) hold a one-point lead on the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division, but it appears it will come down to the final two games of the season. Both teams close out the season with games Tuesday and Thursday.
Trailing 2-1 to start the third Hurricanes’ defenceman Brent Burns tied the game with a power-play goal.
Carolina had a two-man advantage for 45 seconds midway through the period, but failed to capitalize. With time remaining in the second power play Stefan Noesen took a goaltender interference penalty and was given an additional unsportsmanlike penalty.
Giroux went on to give the Senators the lead scoring four-on-four.
Leading 2-0 the Senators had a goal called back early in the second when it was ruled offside and the Hurricanes cut the lead in half when Martin Necas dropped a pass back to Brett Pesce who beat Sogaard high.
In a pre-game interview with the host broadcast, TSN1200, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said the team will qualify Alex DeBrincat, which would mean an offer of $9 million.
The Senators head to Buffalo Thursday where they will play their final game of the season, while Carolina will head home and host the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2023.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press