WINNIPEG, OCT. 27 -- Wayne Gretzky awoke this morning with the satisfaction of having reached a scoring landmark most thought was unattainable and as part-owner of a horse he hoped would perform as wonderfully as he has.
Gretzky scored his 2,000th NHL point Friday night in the Los Angeles Kings' 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Winnipeg Arena. Gretzky assisted on the Kings' first goal, scored by Tomas Sandstrom with 5:28 left in the first period.
On the play, Gretzky sent a pass from his zone to Tony Granato, who in turn sent Sandstrom in for a breakaway goal against Jets goalie Bob Essensa.
"That's what keeps everybody on their toes," Kings Coach Tom Webster said. "Each time he's on the ice, you look for something to happen."
Essensa wound up as the winning goalie, so he didn't mind being the answer to a future trivia question.
"It wasn't the way I planned on getting my name in the record book," Essensa said. "I'm sure it will be a Trivial Pursuit question."
The anticipation of Gretzky reaching the 2,000-point plateau was only part of a hectic weekend for the superstar. He is part owner of Saumarez, who won Europe's biggest horse race, the Prix de l'arc de Triomphe, this year and ran in today's Breeders' Cup Turf. Saumarez had none of Gretzky's good fortune, finishing out of the money.
"It's been a hard four or five days," Gretzky said. "This happened to come at the time of the horse race and there was extra attention about that. It will be nice when things get back to normal."
Gretzky, as always, was trying to be accommodating to the media, but in this situation it involved two sports. But neither he nor Webster thought this was a distraction, at least compared with last October, when he passed Gordie Howe to take the all-time scoring lead.
So when Gretzky got the assist Friday night, the crowd gave him a standing ovation, but there was no ceremony and he did not celebrate as he did in Edmonton. In that situation, he broke Howe's record by scoring the tying goal late in the third period and then won the game with a goal in overtime.
"Part of the reason for what happened last time is that it was in Edmonton and I've always loved playing there, and it was a big goal in the last minute," Gretzky said. "This time, it was a little bit different. This time, I wasn't chasing anybody. I was chasing myself."
The puck and Gretzky's stick, he said, will go to his father, who usually then deals with the Hockey Hall of Fame, which probably will be their final resting place.
"Those things are needed for kids to see," Gretzky said.
Where does it all end? Gretzky -- who won't be 30 until Jan. 26 -- plans on playing another six seasons.
"A friend of mine told me he heard an old radio clip after I scored my 1,000th point, and I said 1,500 was possible but 2,000 was out of the question," Gretzky said with a laugh. "So I guess 2,500 might be reachable, but 3,000 is out of the question."
NHL career regular season records held by Wayne Gretzky:
Most points: 2,000.
Most assists: 1,316.
Most assists, including playoffs: 1,511.
Most points, including playoffs: 2,284.
Highest goals-per-game average (300 or more goals): .799.
Highest assists-per-game average (500 or more assists): 1.54.
Highest points-per-game average (500 or more points): 2.34.
Most games, three or more goals: 46.
Most 40-or-more goal seasons: 11.
Most 50-or-more goal seasons: 9.
Most 100-or-more point seasons: 11.
Most consecutive 40-or-more goal seasons: 11.
Most consecutive 100-or-more point seasons: 11.