Wayne Gretzky celebrated his 24th birthday last night with three goals and another record-breaking performance in leading the Oilers to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Edmonton, Alberta.
It was Gretzky's 33rd three-goal game in his career, moving him one game ahead of Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders and retired Phil Esposito to No. 1 on the career list.
Gretzky's first goal was his 50th of the season, making him the only player to score 50 goals in 50 games or less three times. He scored 50 in 39 games in 1981-82 and had 50 in 42 games last season. This season, it took him 49 games.
Gretzky also had an assist, giving him 646 and moving him ahead of retired Bobby Orr and into 15th place on the career list.
"The big thing Wayne Gretzky would like to do is score 100 goals in a season," Gretzky said. "I know it sounds crazy but someone will score 100 goals in a season and I hope I'm the one that does it."
Gretzky's second goal at 4:21 of the second period was a short-handed score and broke a 2-2 tie. It was his ninth short-handed goal of the season.