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NHL Centennial

Peter Stastny, Anton Stastny enjoy big night

Brothers each scored eight points in one game 36 years ago

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Two Stastnys were too much for the Washington Capitals on Feb. 22, 1981.

Peter Stastny and Anton Stastny were two of the stars on Czechoslovakia's team at the Lake Placid Olympics in February 1980. But six months later, they defected to North America and joined the Quebec Nordiques, who failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their first season in the NHL.

The brothers wasted little time making their mark. Each had his first NHL hat trick in Quebec's 9-3 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 20, but that was a warmup for what they did two nights later at the Capital Centre.

Video: Memories: Stastny brothers set NHL record for rookies

The Stastnys set an NHL record by getting eight points each in a road game. Peter had four goals and four assists; Anton scored three goals and set up five others in what ended as an 11-7 victory for the Nordiques. Amazingly, Anton assisted on each of Peter's four goals, and Peter did the same on his younger brother's three goals.

Their big night came at the end of an eight-game road trip and after a flight from Vancouver to Washington that took up most of the off day between games.

"I remember feeling so tired when I got up that morning," Peter Stastny said. "I thought, 'This is going to be a long night.'"

The game started innocently enough. Peter and Anton each had a goal and an assist in the first period, which ended with the Nordiques leading 2-1. In a wild second period, Peter scored twice and assisted on a goal by Anton (as well as one by defenseman Pierre Lacroix).

 

READ: This Date in NHL History Feb. 22

 

The Nordiques led 7-4 entering the third period but blew the game open by scoring three times in 59 seconds during the first 1:33. Anton Stastny finished his hat trick 34 seconds into the period before Jacques Richard scored twice in 26 seconds, giving him three goals for the night. Peter Stastny put the game away by scoring a power-play goal with 55 seconds remaining.

"It seemed like everything we touched that game went in," Peter said.

Peter Stastny went on to win the Calder Trophy, setting a rookie record with 109 points. By the start of the 1981-82 season, there were three Stastnys in the NHL; older brother Marian was allowed to play in the League and the trio formed one of the NHL's most dangerous lines.

Peter was by far the most successful of the three brothers. He was the second-highest scorer in the 1980s behind Wayne Gretzky and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998.

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