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Jagr passes Lemieux on all-time assists list

by Adam Kimelman

NEW YORK -- Making history seems to have become the norm for New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr.

He moved up another notch on the NHL all-time list Sunday during the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium. His two assists moved him past former teammate Mario Lemieux and into sole possession of 10th place on the League's all-time list with 1,035.

In the first period, Jagr carried the puck below the goal line in the Rangers' end, spun and found a trailing Patrik Elias for a goal from in close at 11:00 of the first period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.

Later in the first, he grabbed a loose puck off a faceoff on the right side of the Rangers' zone and sent it back to Mark Fayne at the left point. Jagr got to the front of the net and outmuscled Kevin Klein to get a piece of Fayne's long shot. The puck bounced off the pads of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist but went right to Travis Zajac, who scored at 16:07 to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.

That would be as good as things went for the Devils, however; the Rangers scored the next six goals en route to a 7-3 victory.

"I felt like we started playing up and down hockey against a team we shouldn't play like that," Jagr said. "We stopped playing our hockey, on the boards, and it cost us in the second period."

Despite the loss, Jagr said he found one positive from the experience compared to his previous outdoor game. As a member of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2012 Winter Classic, he strained a groin muscle in the first period and played just two shifts in the second. The Flyers lost that game to the Rangers, 3-2.

"Result is the same, Rangers won both games," Jagr said. "At least I didn't get injured this time."

On Sunday he played 15 minutes, fifth-most among New Jersey's forwards, which enabled him to continue on his historic path.

So far this season Jagr's 16 goals have moved him past Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Mark Messier into seventh all-time with 691; his 28 assists has moved him past Joe Sakic and Lemieux and his 44 points has pushed him past Lemieux and into seventh place with 1,732.

Jagr leads the Devils this season in goals, assists, points and plus/minus (plus-20). So even though he turns 42 in 20 days, he has no intention of slowing down.

"Seems like every game the media asks about it, do I know where I am [on the all-time lists]," Jagr said. "I'm right here. I don't feel like going anywhere. I enjoy the game and I want to keep playing. I don't worry about the numbers. If I work hard and stay healthy, I can play more games."


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