Fresh off Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner registering eight points in an 8-4 drubbing of Chicago, NHL.com dug into the vault and found footage of a similar Mario Lemieux performance.
On Dec. 31, 1988, Super Mario wowed the Pittsburgh faithful by getting in on every goal in an 8-6 win over the New Jersey Devils. It was almost identical to the feat accomplished by Gagner on Thursday night — as a result, the pair are now the only two players in NHL history to have eight points in a game where their teams scored exactly eight goals.
Of course, the two performances weren’t exactly identical.
Mario’s effort was extra special as he became the first — and only — player to ever score five goals five different ways: shorthanded, full strength, power play, penalty shot and empty net.
More, from the Jan. 2, 1989 edition of the Schenectady Gazette:
“That was Mario’s Christmas gift, a little late, to me and the fans,” Pittsburgh coach Gene Ubriaco said. “I’m not going to say it [Lemieux’s performance] was awesome; I’ve said that too many times. What can I say? Someone once said we were a one-game team, and certainly tonight — when he makes up his mind, no one can stop him.”
And in case you’re wondering, yes, that is the first and only Gene Ubriaco reference in PHT history, which is a shame. Might make it my mission to include more.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer