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Greatest Moments

Sittler's 10-point game up against Lemieux in Greatest Moments battle

Maple Leafs forward's historic night facing off in fourth round against Penguins captain scoring five goals five different ways

by Mike Zeisberger @zeisberger / Staff Writer

TORONTO -- If anyone was going to beat him, Darryl Sittler always considered Mario Lemieux to be one of the leading candidates.

On Feb. 7, 1976, Sittler, then a center with the Toronto Maple Leafs, set an NHL single-game record with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in an 11-4 victory against the Boston Bruins at Maple Leaf Gardens. In the ensuing 41 years, no one has been able to eclipse that mark.

"I always said that between Mario and Wayne Gretzky, in that era where players seemed to be getting a couple hundred points a year, those were the two who would challenge it," Sittler said. "I think Mario had a couple of eight-point games."

Lemieux came within two points of Sittler's record on two occasions in a span of less than three months. He had two goals and six assists for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 15, 1988, then scored five goals and had three assists against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 31, 1988.


[RELATED: Vote now for NHL's Greatest Moments]


Though Lemieux wasn't able to erase Sittler's record, he's attempting to beat the former Maple Leaf on another front more than four decades later as part of the Greatest NHL Moments Presented by Coors Light and Pepsi Zero Sugar. The original bracket of 64 moments -- determined by a panel consisting of broadcasters from NHL national rightsholders NBC Sports Group, NHL Network, Sportsnet and TVA -- is down to eight after three rounds of voting.

Video: 1976: Darryl Sittler scores 10 points in one game

Fans can vote in Round 4 at Sittler's 10-point game is matched against Lemieux's feat of becoming the first player to score goals five different ways in the same game, which he did in that New Year's Eve game against New Jersey in five different ways in the same game, which he did in that New Year's Eve game against New Jersey in 1988.

Round 4 voting closes Nov. 14, with the semifinal and final rounds of voting taking place Nov. 15-21 and Nov. 22-28, respectively. The Greatest NHL Moment will be announced during the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic on Dec. 16, featuring the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).

"Things like this are fun for fans to be involved in," Sittler said. "If it ends up advancing and being one of those moments, it'll be nice. If not, it's just nice to be thought of."

Regardless of whether Sittler can defeat Lemieux in this competition, it will be a far more difficult task for anyone to equal or surpass his 10-point game. Players have had eight points in a regular-season game on 13 occasions; the most recent was on Feb. 2, 2012, when center Sam Gagner had four goals and four assists for the Edmonton Oilers against the Chicago Blackhawks.

When a player appears headed for a big scoring night, Sittler often gets texts from friends and family informing him that his record might be challenged. Such was the case when Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews scored four goals in his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 12, 2016, at Canadian Tire Centre.

"Because of social media and stuff like that, you're aware," Sittler said. "The night that Auston scored four against Ottawa in his first NHL game, I wasn't even watching that night. I was out to dinner. But then all the social media correspondences started coming in. 'Oh, Auston's got four and it's only the second period,' those types of things.

"When Sam Gagner got his eight points a few years ago, that took place in Edmonton, so I was in bed sleeping. I got up the next morning and heard them talking about it on sports radio.

"But nowadays, everything is instantaneous with everything that happens. That's the world we live in right now, which is good. If something is going on, it doesn't take long for someone to let you know about it."

Sittler was asked about the staying power his 10-point record has endured.

Video: Greatest NHL Moments: Lemieux vs. Sittler

"In all of our lives, you wonder where the years go," said Sittler, whose 1,121 points (484 goals, 637 assists) earned him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. "It's coming up on 42 years and over 10,000 games have been played in the National Hockey League. So what happens is whenever the anniversary of that date comes up, the fans and the media bring it up. The Leafs do something for the 25th anniversary, the 40th anniversary, bring all the guys back. It's a record a lot of people feel will be very, very difficult to break.

"Is it a nice record to have? Yes. Did I ever think it would turn into what it is when I set it? Truthfully, I never gave it much thought. Then, as years go by and great players come in and out of the game and the record still stands, it's pretty cool, you know.

"If you look at the records in other sports -- I know Wilt Chamberlain had more than 100 points in a basketball game -- those type of extraordinary records do stand out because those are achievements that it's hard to believe they actually happened. To have 10 goals in a game, let alone 10 points by one player, just doesn't seem all that achievable."

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