Jaromir Jagr was an opposing star for the Pittsburgh Penguins when Wayne Gretzky played his last game, for the Rangers in 1999. Jagr, a 42-year-old Czech, and Gretzky, the N.H.L.’s career scoring leader, now share another milestone: career goal No. 700 at Nassau Coliseum against the Islanders. Jagr became the seventh player in league history to reach that mark as the Devils rolled past the hapless Islanders, 6-1, on Saturday. The Devils (26-22-13) won their second straight after the Olympic break to further tighten the Eastern Conference playoff race. Adam Henrique opened the scoring for the Devils at the five-minute mark of the first period with a power-play goal, his 17th, before Jagr made it 2-0 at 3 minutes 31 seconds of the second with his milestone goal, his team-leading 19th of the season. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage graphic Graphic: The Journey to 700 for Jaromir JagrMARCH 1, 2014 Jagr, a right wing, skated out in customary style from behind the net to the high slot before sliding the puck through traffic past Evgeni Nabokov. Jagr became the first European-born player to join the 700-goal club and was the third of the seven players to achieve the mark on Long Island. Travis Zajac and Andy Greene had assists. “Seven hundred goals is pretty special, but 800 would be even better,” a jovial Jagr said as he peeled off his soaked equipment. “I’ll get there in two years. And I’ll be laughing then, too.” Gretzky, the leader with 894 goals, notched his 700th on Jan. 3, 1991, as part of a hat trick in a 6-3 Los Angeles Kings victory, and Marcel Dionne scored his at Nassau Coliseum on Oct. 31, 1987, as a member of the Rangers. Ryane Clowe, Marek Zidlicky and Mark Fayne also had second-period goals for the Devils, who scored four times on the power play and chased Nabokov from the game after the second period in favor of his backup, Anders Nilsson. “The game went away from us pretty quickly,” Nabokov said. “We gave up four goals on the penalty kill, and see you later.” Eric Gelinas completed the scoring for the Devils at 19:21 of the third. “We’re feeling good; we’ll take it,” Devils Coach Peter DeBoer said. “Now we have to turn this into three or four wins in a row. It would be very nice to keep it going.” The Devils will host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday afternoon before a home-and-home series with Detroit. Kyle Okposo scored the lone goal for the Islanders, his team-leading 25th, at 6:14 of the second. The Islanders (23-31-8) lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Martin Brodeur, starting for the first time since being shelled by the Rangers in a 7-3 loss at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26, was back to his stellar self. The 41-year-old Brodeur, mentioned in rumors ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline, made 18 saves for career win No. 683 while playing in a record 1,249th regular-season games for the Devils. “I feel good about my game, and I was glad to be on the ice for Jaromir’s big goal,” Brodeur said. “I tapped my stick there for him.” Brodeur was nonchalant about the possibility that he could be traded. “We’ll see what happens,” said Brodeur, who began his N.H.L. career with the Devils during the 1991-92 season. “It would definitely depend on where it would be.” Both teams were missing their captains. John Tavares of the Islanders sustained a season-ending left knee injury during the Olympics, and Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador was out with a bruised collarbone. It was Jagr’s 61st goal against the Islanders in his 101st game against them. “I love that team; they are my favorite,” said Jagr, adding that he did not have specific plans for the milestone puck. “I’m going to save the 800th one, that’s for sure.” Jagr chuckled when asked about the applause he received from Islanders fans when he reached his milestone. “Well, they knew I scored 61 goals against them,” he said. Jagr also assisted on Zidlicky’s power-play goal to make the score 3-1. The assist was his 1,040th and tied Jagr with Dionne for ninth on the career assists list. Dionne had 731 goals. Jagr is seventh in N.H.L. scoring with 1,740 career points. Steve Yzerman is sixth with 1,755. “I never played the game for the numbers; I play because I love it,” Jagr said. “Every game is special for me, and I don’t have that many left. I want to be a great example for older people. When you love to do something, you have a chance.” His coach took a moment to salute Jagr as well as Brodeur.
Jaromir Jagr Gets 700th Goal, and Devils Rout the Islanders
New York Times | Mar 2