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NHL Roundup : Gretzky Ties Howe on Assists List in Tie Game

February 18, 1988|DAN HAFNER

Wayne Gretzky, who has been piling up offensive records for years, has started to catch up on the all-time lists, too.

His second assist of the game Wednesday night at Edmonton with just 26 seconds left in regulation gave the Oilers a 4-4 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs and enabled Gretzky to catch Gordie Howe, the all-time assists leader in the National Hockey League.

Howe, playing in 1,767 games, had 1,049 assists. The two against the Maple Leafs also gave Gretzky 1,049, but in just 678 games. It is the beginning of a number of lifetime marks that figure to start tumbling.

Gretzky started this season third on the assist list. Although he missed 13 games with a knee injury, he has 82 assists this season.

Montreal 3, Boston 2--The Canadiens snapped out of a slump at Montreal that knocked them out of first place in the Adams Division.

After losing five in a row, such stalwarts as Larry Robinson engaged in public criticism of Coach Jean Perron. The 23-time Stanley Cup champions were just not behaving the way Canadiens are expected to behave.

There was a surprising turnaround when Mike McPhee broke a 3-3 tie on his 18th goal with just 95 seconds left in regulation to give the Canadiens a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. The game ended in a bench-clearing brawl.

The Bruins, whose lead was cut to one point over the Canadiens, held a 3-2 lead until Sergio Momesso scored at 5:35 of the last period.

At the final buzzer, the two enforcers, John Kordic of Montreal and Jay Miller of the Bruins, squared off and soon were joined by players of both teams.

Pulling together to cut into the Bruins' lead and getting into a battle took the heat, at least temporarily, from the differences between Perron and his players.

Robinson, a star of numerous Stanley Cups, criticized Perron for scolding and criticizing his players in the media.

New York Rangers 5, Calgary 3--Ulf Dahlen scored twice at New York to help the Rangers remain hot at the expense of the road-weary Flames.

It was the Flames' sixth loss in their last eight games, and they are 2-5 in seven consecutive games on the road.

On the other hand, the Rangers, making a desperate drive to get out of the Patrick Division cellar, are 3-1-1 in their last five games.

Hartford 4, Winnipeg 3--Carey Wilson scored two goals at Hartford, Conn., and the Whalers stopped the Jets' seven-game unbeaten string.

Wilson has scored eight goals in 14 games since the Whalers acquired him from Calgary Jan. 3.

Washington 4, New Jersey 3--Dave Christian scored twice, including the game-winner halfway through the third period at East Rutherford, N.J.

Christian deflected a centering pass from Bengt Gustafsson past goaltender Bob Sauve to give the Capitals their fourth victory in a row.

Detroit 4, Chicago 3--Shawn Burr's short wrist shot halfway through the third period at Chicago snapped a tie and gave the Red Wings the victory.

The win increased the Red Wings' lead in the Norris Division to 11 points and gave goaltender Glen Hanlon a 10-3-2 record in his last 15 games.

Vancouver 5, Pittsburgh 0--Greg Adams and Jim Sandlak each scored two goals, and Kirk McLean stopped 27 shots as the Canucks won at Vancouver, Canada.

The shutout was the first this season for Vancouver, and the game was only the eighth this season in which Penguin center Mario Lemieux was held scoreless.

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