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Hyman, Reinhart become first-time 50-goal scorers

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The NHL's 50-goal club has two new members after Edmonton Oilers winger Zach Hyman and Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart both hit the mark on Sunday.

Hyman scored a power-play goal in the second period of Edmonton's 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators as he continues to top his career-best mark of 36 last season. 

Reinhart opened the scoring for the Panthers against the Philadelphia Flyers for goal No. 49 this season before hitting 50 with an empty-netter with over a minute still to play in his team's 4-1 win.

The 28-year-old forward, who is a pending unrestricted free agent, topped the 30-goal mark in each of the past two years, but had never previously gone past 33 goals. 

"It's pretty cool," Reinhart said after the win, per NHL.com. "That's obviously a number I've never really thought about. Certainly, the recipient of being put in some very good positions this year and playing with some very good players. So, it's been fun."

Carrying a cap hit of $6.5 million on his expiring deal, Reinhart has 83 points in 71 games and will top a point-per-game pace for the second time in his career this season.

He is just the second player in franchise history to top 50 goals, joining Pavel Bure, who did so twice during his time with the team more than 20 years ago.

"It's just such an elite class," Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said. "And there's just very few people whose names that score 50 that you don't know. You've just heard of them because they're the superstars. And five of those are short-handed goals, and that tells you that he's playing both sides of the puck. There's some guys who scored 50 who couldn't find their own end. Sam's a battler and a team-first player. We're just so fortunate to have him."

 

Hyman ignores outside noise en route to 50 goals

Hyman reflected on his career to date as he hit the mark on Sunday, noting his ability has been doubted for more than a decade and continues to be today.

“In university, I had two goals my first year,” Hyman said. “I was drafted, and I was just a draft pick. I was no longer a prospect. Everybody kind of wrote me off. And then I started to score again, and then all of a sudden I was an NHL player, but I was an NHL player who had no hands and was a grinder playing next to [Auston Matthews] and [William Nylander] (with the Toronto Maple Leafs). That was kind of the narrative.

"And then I scored 10 goals, and then 15 and 20, and then, ‘Oh, he’s an okay player, he just plays with good players.’ And I still have that narrative, which is great. It’s awesome. I think it just shows that you just hit little milestones on the way, and you just block out outside noise, and you work really hard, and you have a positive attitude, and good things happen.”

Hyman, who joined the Oilers on a seven-year contract in 2021 has hit a new career high in goals in each of his three seasons with the team. He had 27 goals in his first year with the Oilers and 36 last year before soaring to new levels this season on a line with Connor McDavid

“From a guy that was just supposed to be a checker in the league, not sure if he’d ever make it to this league,” McDavid said Sunday. “He’s worked for everything that he’s gotten, and now he’s a 50-goal scorer at the age of 31. It’s pretty impressive. It’s been cool to see and cool to kind of witness his transition to a goal-scorer.”

Hyman and Reinhart are tied for second in Rocket Richard race, still well back of Matthews, who has 58. Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak are tied for fourth in the race with 44 goals this season.