Wayne Gretzky, who already holds almost every NHL scoring record, became the first player to reach 2,000 points 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 at center ice. Granato then sent Sandstrom in on a breakaway, and Sandstrom beat goaltender Bob Essensa between the pads.
The goal cut Winnipeg's lead to 2-1. The result of the game was unavailable at press time.
"It's been a tough two days for me in Winnipeg, with a lot of media attention," Gretzky said in an interview following the first period. "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.
Gretzky, 29 and 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. (A point is a goal or an assist.)
He has been the NHL's career assist leader since March 1, 1988.
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).
Gretzky owns the record for goals in a season, 92 in 1981-82.
His point total does not include the 104 he scored during one season in the World Hockey Association.