Mario Lemieux

Video: Gagner’s great, but Mario was magic


Fresh off Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner registering eight points in an 8-4 drubbing of Chicago, 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.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.