Rangers' Wayne Gretzky Becomes Only NHL Player To Have More Assists Than Any Player Has
Oct. 27, 1997
Rangers' Wayne Gretzky Becomes Only NHL Player To Have More Assists Than Any Player Has Points; Record Set Against Mighty Ducks
With the teams skating four-on-four, Selanne rushed the puck the length of the ice and beat Rangers goaltender Mike Richter with a blistering slap shot from 20 feet at 12:01 of the third period.
Selanne had pulled the Ducks within 3-2 at 7:05 of the third when he deflected a point shot from Bruce Driver and sped off on a breakaway, beating Richter between the pads.
Selanne's hat trick spoiled Gretzky's big night. The NHL's all-time scoring leader registered a pair of assists to become the only`player in history to have more assists than any other player has points. The assists gave Gretzky a career total of 1,851, one more than the overall point total of NHL Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe.
Gretzky's passout from the right sideboards to Ulf Samuelsson at the left point resulted in Samuelsson's first goal of the season, 32 seconds into the third period. The goal gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead and Gretzky his 1,850th assist.
Gretzky then assisted on a goal by Niklas Sundstrom at 12:14 of the second period for his milestone number. Sundstrom's fourth goal of the season, on a bang-bang passing sequence from Gretzky and Brian Leetch, gave New York a 2-1 lead.
Anaheim took a 1-0 lead at 13:41 of the first period on Selanne's first goal. After New York's Mike Eastwood coughed up the puck in the neutral zone, Joe Sacco took a slap shot that Richter kicked out. But Selanne found the rebound and had half the net to shoot at for his fifth goal of the season.
Kevin Stevens tied it with his fourth goal of the season, a power-play score at 18:12 of the first.