Dennis Maruk moved into the elite of National Hockey League scorers tonight, getting two goals to help the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-4, before 16,360 at Maple Leaf Gardens.
With 60 goals, Maruk joins Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers and Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders as the only NHL players to reach 60 this season.
Bobby Gould also scored twice for Washington, and Glen Currie and Bobby Carpenter had the Capitals' other goals. Bill Derlago, with two, Walt Poddubny and Jim Benning scored for Toronto.
Washington will end its season Sunday at 7 p.m. at Capital Centre against the Montreal Canadiens.
For Maruk, reaching 60 goals was some consolation for missing the playoffs the seventh consecutive season of his pro hockey career. (The Capitals have missed the playoffs in all of their eight years.)
"I'd give a few of those goals back to make the playoffs one of these years," he said. "I'd like to see what it's like."
Maruk played with stretched ligaments in his right knee and said he was limited to about 70 percent of his potential.
"I don't think I really shone," he said. "I didn't play my type of game. The knee gets sore when I shoot a lot, because it puts pressure on that leg. It just needs rest."
Because of his knee injury, he will not join Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships later this month in Finland.
His first goal came at 16:40 of the first period and his 60th at 17:59 of the second period.
Fourth in NHL scoring with 134 points, Maruk admits he hasn't received the recognition that has flooded Gretzky and Bossy.
"I think I deserve a bit more," he said."
Washington outshot the Maple Leafs, 38-35, and led, 5-2, after two periods.
Benning and Derlago scored midway in the third period to make it 5-4, but Gould shot into an empty net with 35 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.