Skip to Main Content
This Date in NHL History

Jan. 21: Gretzky becomes NHL's No. 2 all-time scorer

Plus: Bruins score four times in 1:20; Potvin ties Orr for career goals by defenseman

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1989: Wayne Gretzky moves into second place on the NHL's all-time points list.

Gretzky scores a goal and has three assists in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-4 loss to the Hartford Whalers at the Civic Center, passing Marcel Dionne to become the NHL's all-time No. 2 scorer. Gretzky has 1,771 points in 743 games; Dionne (at the time) has 1,770 in 1,343 games. The only player ahead of him is Gordie Howe with 1,850 points.

Gretzky also reaches 100 points for the 10th consecutive season, extending his own NHL record.

Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points



1945: The Boston Bruins set an NHL record for the fastest four goals by one team during a 14-3 victory against the New York Rangers at Boston Garden. The Bruins score four times in a span of 1:20 in the second period, a mark that still stands. Bill Thoms scores at 6:34, Frank Mario at 7:08 and 7:27, and Ken Smith at 7:54.


1985: Dionne scores a first-period goal against the Edmonton Oilers. It's the 611th of his NHL career, moving him past Bobby Hull into third place on the all-time list. Dionne is one of seven Kings to score in the first two periods, but the Oilers after trailing 7-3 in the third for an 8-7 win at Northlands Coliseum.


1986: Denis Potvin ties Bobby Orr's record for defensemen by scoring his 270th NHL goal. His goal at 15:48 of the second period proves to be the game-winner in the New York Islanders' 7-3 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Coliseum.


1995: Mats Sundin scores his first goal with the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Sundin, acquired in a trade with the Quebec Nordiques on June 28, 1994, goes on to score a Maple Leafs-record 420 goals in 13 seasons and earns induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

Video: Mats Sundin only Swede to score 500 goals


1997: Pittsburgh Penguins rookie goalie Patrick Lalime makes 49 saves to improve to 14-0 with two ties, extending his NHL record for the longest unbeaten streak at the start of a career, in a 4-2 victory against the visiting Calgary Flames.


2001: The Penguins defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 at United Center in the first NHL game to feature two European-trained coaches. Ivan Hlinka coaches the Penguins, and Alpo Suhonen coaches the Blackhawks. Four players score for Pittsburgh and Garth Snow makes 24 saves for the shutout.


2004: The Minnesota Wild set an NHL record for the fastest two goals by one team when Jim Dowd and Richard Park score three seconds apart in a 4-2 victory against the Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. Dowd breaks a 2-2 tie when he beats Craig Anderson at 19:44 of the third period. Park scores into an empty net at 19:47.


2016: Daniel Sedin becomes the leading goal-scorer in Vancouver Canucks history when he scores twice in a 4-2 victory against the Bruins at TD Garden. Sedin passes Markus Naslund by scoring with 12:57 remaining in the third period, then hits the empty net, giving him 348 NHL goals, all with Vancouver.


2018: Joe Thornton of the Sharks has a goal and an assist in San Jose's 6-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center to pass Bryan Trottier for 16th on the NHL's all-time scoring list. The two points give Thornton 1,426, one more than Trottier, a six-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer.


2019: Peter Laviolette becomes the 20th coach NHL history with 600 victories when the Nashville Predators defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 at Pepsi Center. He joins John Tortorella as the second U.S.-born coach to reach the 600-win mark and is the third (along with Tortorella and Claude Julien) to get his 600th victory in 2018-19.


View More