The drought lasted exactly 726 days, most of which time Clarke MacArthur spent wondering if he would ever play again, never mind score another goal.

When the Senators veteran winger took a neat Bobby Ryan pass and relayed it behind Tuukka Rask, he turned, skated towards centre ice, threw his head back and arms in the air in sheer jubilation.

The roar from the crowd was almost deafening.

“I’ll be honest with you, for me personally, I had the goosebumps and everything you can imagine, because you know what he’s been through, you know how much players care, and so do I,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. “When he raised his arms, I think the whole city did at the same time.”

It was just the sixth game back for MacArthur, counting four in the regular season, and just his 10th since Oct. 2015. Each time out, his game has been better than it was the previous outing. On Friday, he talked about the chances he’s had and how it feels like he’s “banging the ketchup bottle here, waiting for it to ooze out.”

Finally, the wait is over.

“It was a lot of weight lifted off me, getting that,” MacArthur said. “I was excited. I’m not crying this time. I’m just happy, really happy to get one.

“Those ones in 2-on-2 after practice don’t feel as good as that. It’s nice to know that I can still do it. Hopefully there’s more to come.”

There surely is. But MacArthur will never forget the goal he scored on the power play at 10:57 of the second period on Saturday. His parents were in attendance, so was his wife and kids and friends from Rochester.