ATLANTA (AP) - Marian Hossa hobbled off the ice with an injured left knee early in the second period, then returned at the start of the third to score his 31st goal for the Atlanta Thrashers against the New York Islanders on Friday night.
Hossa was tripped by Islanders defenceman Freddy Meyer and slid into the boards behind the New York goal just over a minute into the second.
After remaining on his back for several minutes, Hossa got up slowly and was helped to the Atlanta bench. He went straight to the locker room for treatment, hobbling noticeably as he headed down the tunnel.
But Hossa was back on the ice for the start of the third. The crowd began chanting his name when they noticed him lining up for the opening shift, and it take long for him to bring out an even bigger cheer.
Hossa got the puck at the side of the Islanders' net and flipped a shot over the left shoulder of goalie Mike Dunham, giving Atlanta a 4-3 lead just 19 seconds into the period.
Hossa represented the Thrashers in the All-Star Game at Dallas this week. He came into Friday's game tied for the NHL lead in goals and ranked sixth in points.