Video: Gagner’s great, but Mario was magic

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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.