Marcel Dionne became the No. 2 all-time goal scorer in the National Hockey League Sunday and shortly thereafter set out after No. 1, Gordie Howe.
After breaking a tie with New York Rangers' General Manager Phil Esposito 2 1/2 minutes into the game with the New York Islanders by scoring his 718th goal, Dionne scored his 719th with just 5:12 left in regulation to give the Rangers a 4-4 tie.
Howe compiled his 801 goals in 26 seasons, while Dionne, who spent most of his colorful career with the Kings, is in his 16th. Dionne, 36, who has 26 goals this season and has reached 40 only once in the last four seasons, doesn't expect to catch Howe.
"I would have enjoyed this more if we had won the game," Dionne said. "At least we came back. The Islanders should be happy to go home with a point.
"As for catching Gordie, I really doubt that I have a chance. It seems to me it would take four more good seasons. I'm not sure I have that many left.
"Anyhow, if I did become No. 1, it wouldn't be for long. Wayne (Gretzky) and Mario (Lemieux) will wind up one-two and not necessarily in that order."
Coach Michel Bergeron was especially impressed with Dionne's second goal that tied the game. He picked up a loose puck in the crease and banged it home.
"Marcel pays the price," Bergeron said. "He's a real great example for every player on the team. He's 36 and he fights for the rebounds."
The Rangers are in last place in the tough Patrick Division, but the point they gained on the tie put them just eight points out of second place.
Washington 5, Calgary 4--The Winter Olympics may be doing wonders for the city of Calgary, but it isn't doing much for the city's franchise in the NHL.
The Flames, leaders of the Smythe Division, had to give up their home, the Saddledome, for a month and are in the midst of an 11-game trip.
They led the Capitals, 3-2, with 90 seconds left in regulation, but Dale Hunter tied the game and, 20 seconds into overtime, Mike Gartner gave the Capitals the victory.
The Flames, 2-4 on the long trip, will not play at home again until March 3.
The winning goal was Gartner's second of the game and 35th of the season. It came on a perfectly executed three-on-two break.
"Give the credit to Dale for tying it and Mike (Ridley) for setting me up for the easy shot," Gartner said.
The victory gave the Capitals undisputed possession of second place in the Patrick Division.
Chicago 4, Buffalo 3--The Blackhawks are confident that if they can get a team into overtime, they can beat them. The Sabres have an opposite feeling.
With 72 seconds left in overtime at Chicago, Steve Thomas beat goaltender Tom Barrasso with a quick blast to extend the Blackhawks' unbeaten streak to four games (2-0-2). All have been overtime games.
On the other hand, the Sabres still haven't won in overtime in 10 games. The other nine resulted in ties.
John Tucker brought the Sabres even, 3-3, when he scored with under six minutes remaining in regulation.
Edmonton 7, Vancouver 6--Craig Simpson scored goals 47 seconds apart in the third period at Edmonton to enable the Oilers to extend their unbeaten regular season streak against the Canucks to 23 games.
Simpson broke a 5-5 tie with a deflection at 13:06 and at 13:53 scored his 35th goal of the season to give Edmonton a two-goal margin.
Mark Messier, who had not scored since Jan. 15, had a hat trick for the Oilers. Wayne Gretzky, used sparingly after reinjuring his knee, assisted on a Messier goal. He now needs two more assists to tie Gordie Howe, the all-time leader.
The victory enabled the Oilers to pull within three points of Calgary, the leader of the Smythe Division.
For just the second time this season, Grant Fuhr didn't start in the nets for the Oilers. He entered the game after Vancouver scored on four of their first 10 shots against Warren Skorodenski.
Winnipeg 3, Quebec 2--Dave Ellett had a goal and an assist at Winnipeg to lead the Jets to victory. The Jets are unbeaten in their last six games and pulled 10 points ahead of the Kings in the battle for third place in the Smythe Division.
The Nordiques are 2-5-1 in their last eight games and remained five points behind Hartford in the battle for the last playoff spot in the Adams Division.
New Jersey 7, Toronto 2--Craig Wolanin scored on a power-play late in the first period at Toronto to put the Devils in front and they went on to score the next five goals.
The Devils scored three times in the second period to chase goaltender Ken Wregget. Jeff Reese took over for the third period.
The victory put the Devils just three points out of second place in the Patrick Division.