On this day in 1982… Edmonton Oilers forward Wayne Gretzky scores 92nd goal of the season cementing NHL record
By Zach Laing8 months ago
It was 41 years ago today that Wayne Gretzky set the NHL record for goals in a season finding twine for the 92nd time.
The goal was scored 1:50 into the third period of an Oilers 6-2 win over the LA Kings and it was the club’s third final game of the regular season. Edmonton would go on to face the Kings in the first round of the playoffs losing in five games.
Now, the truth of this record is that it was actually broken earlier in the season. The goal-scoring record previously belonged to Phil Esposito, who in 1970-71 scored 76 goals in 78 games. Gretzky scored his 77th of the 1981-82 season on Feb. 24th.
Gretzky’s record, meanwhile, might never be broken. It’s not for lack of trying. Mario Lemieux got close in 1988-89 scoring 85 goals and Brett Hull put up 86 a few years later in 1990-91. Gretzky himself is the closest to his record having scored 87 in 1983-84.
This year, we’ve seen Connor McDavid go on an incredible run scoring 60 goals in 74 games so far and while he could, in theory, hit the 70-goal mark with a few big performances down the stretch, that would still leave him 23 goals short of breaking the record.
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Here’s some of what the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson wrote about the record-setting night:
Even with new math, they haven’t figured out a way for three to go into four evenly. But it does go in very quickly. Just ask Doug Keans.“The Los Angeles Kings goalie saw red, literally and figuratively, Sunday night as he surrendered three goals in just four shots over a 206-second span. The quick strike by Edmonton Oilers, which included a record-breaking two goals in 24 seconds to start the game, carried them to an easy 6-2 National Hockey League victory.Keans was helpless as Mark Messier and Dave Lumley connected on breakaways at the 14- and 24-second marks, before many of the 16,005 fans were even in their seats. When Glenn Anderson lifted a powerplay goalmouth shot past Keans at 3:26, the result was academic. The only question was whether Oilers would win by a touchdown or two.They scored one more on Keans (a 40-foot slapper by Anderson), before he got the hook from Kings coach Don Perry. In all, Keans faced only seven shots, with his best shot an arm save while he sat on the Kings bench trying to cool down. “The two goals so fast certainly didn’t help my confidence any,” said Keans. “If I make the first save on Messier, we’re still in the game but I didn’t and Don was right to get me out of there.Before the carnage was over. Messier would score again (number 48) on another breakaway on reliever Mike Blake and Wayne Gretzky would round out the scoring with his 92nd goal on a quick 15-footer in the final period.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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