Wayne Gretzky, who already holds almost every NHL scoring record, became the first player to reach the 2,000-point plateau when he set up a goal by Tomas Sandstrom at 14:32 of the first period of the Los Angeles Kings' game at Winnipeg on Friday night.
The game was stopped momentarily as Gretzky's teammates poured onto the ice and a sellout crowd at the Winnipeg Arena gave Gretzky a standing ovation.Gretzky started the play with a pass from his own end to Tony Granato in center ice. Granato then sent Sandstrom in on a breakaway and Sandstrom beat goaltender Bob Essensa between the pads, cutting the Jets' lead to 2-1.
"It happened early; the goal got us back in the game but it didn't break their back," Gretzky said in an interview following the first period of the Kings' 6-2 loss.
"It's been a tough two days for me in Winnipeg, with a lot of media attention. From here we go to New York on Monday, so it was nice to do it tonight. Sunday's game will be relaxed."
The Kings also play at Winnipeg on Sunday.
Gretzky had come close to assists on two previous occasions prior to Sandstrom's goal. He did not figure in the scoring of the Kings' other goal, by Robert Kudelski.
Gretzky, in his 12th NHL season, eclipsed Gordie Howe as the league's all-time leading scorer with his 1,851st point on Oct. 15, 1989, in a game at Edmonton.
He has been the NHL's career assist leader since March 1, 1988, when he passed Howe's total of 1,049. That milestone came against the Kings, just five months before Gretzky was traded from Edmonton to Los Angeles. Gretzky's assist total is 1,316.
Gretzky's 1,000th point also came against the Kings, on Dec. 19, 1984.
Gretzky's only remaining target is the league's goal-scoring record. He has 684 goals, fourth on the all-time list behind Howe (801), Marcel Dionne (731) and Phil Esposito (717). However, including Friday night's game, he has played only 857 regular-season games, far fewer than the other three players.
Gretzky owns the single-season goal-scoring mark with 92, a feat he accomplished in 1981-82.
Gretzky's point total does not include the 104 he scored during one season in the World Hockey Association.
He has won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer in eight of his previous 11 seasons, including last season, and has scored 100 or more points in every season. His lowest total was 137 in 1979-80, his rookie season, when he tied Dionne for the league scoring lead.
Gretzky is the only NHL player to record 200 points in a season. He has done it four times and set the league record with 215 in 1985-86, when he also set an NHL mark with 165 assists.Red Wings 8, North Stars 6
At Detroit, Rick Zombo and Sergei Fedorov scored goals eight seconds apart in the third period as Detroit beat Minnesota, keeping the Red Wings undefeated at home and the North Stars winless on the road.
Detroit fired a season-high 47 shots at goaltender Kari Takko, who was recalled Monday from Kalamazoo of the International Hockey League where he was 4-0-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average.
The Red Wings (6-3-2) tied a club record set in 1962 with their sixth straight home victory to start a season. They are 0-3-2 on the road.