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March 23 remains date to remember for Gretzky

Wednesday, 03.23.2011 / 2:33 PM / News

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March 23 remains date to remember for Gretzky
March 23 remains date to remember for Wayne Gretzky.
Seventeen years ago today, The Great One became the greatest goal scorer in NHL history.

Wayne Gretzky's shot that beat Vancouver Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean was the 802nd goal of his career, moving him ahead of Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe atop the all-time list.

"I don't think words can describe the emotion that I felt, and the feeling that I had," Gretzky said. "I was pretty tickled. It was a pretty fun moment."

Gretzky, playing for the Los Angeles Kings at the time, took a cross-ice pass from Marty McSorely before scoring the goal. Gretzky and McSorely were longtime teammates with the Edmonton Oilers before teaming up in Los Angeles.

Howe, who retired in 1980, scored 801 goals in 1,767 games over 26 seasons. Gretzky set the record playing in his 1,117th game and 15th season.

Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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