Wayne Gretzky no longer has to chase any scoring records. Not that they ever really mattered when it came to pursuing championships.
Gretzky became the first player to reach 2,500 NHL points Monday night, assisting on Rob Blake's power-play goal in the first period at Calgary. But the Kings lost to the Flames 5-2 and fell deeper in a hole in the race for a Western Conference playoff spot.So Gretzky was looking ahead, and not to any personal offensive milestones.
"Our upcoming games are against teams that are battling us and, let's face it, that's our season right there," the Great One said. "We've got to start winning."
With eight games left, Los Angeles trails San Jose by one point for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and the Sharks have a game in hand.
"Quite honestly, milestones like this are something I'll look back on later on," Gretzky said. "Right now my concern and priority is to get us into the playoffs."
The Flames made that tougher for Los Angeles as Theo Fleury had two goals and two assists. Joe Nieuwendyk added a goal and three assists.
Gretzky holds or shares 61 NHL records and in his career has won the Hart Trophy nine times, the Art Ross Trophy 10 times and the Conn Smythe Trophy twice.
Mighty Ducks 3, Sharks 0
At Anaheim, Guy Hebert got his fifth career shutout, stopping 27 shots. The Ducks' fourth straight triumph over San Jose - following an 0-6 record against them last season - put Anaheim two points behind the Sharks for the eighth and final conference berth and a point behind the ninth-place Kings.
Canadiens 5, Capitals 2
At Montreal, Pierre Turgeon scored three times, continuing his hot streak since joining Montreal.
Oilers 6, Jets 5
Dean Kennedy, a light-scoring defenseman, got his second goal of the season in the final period, and it stood up for Edmonton at Winnipeg.
Maple Leafs 3, Blackhawks 1
At Chicago, Mike Ridley scored in the third to break a tie, then Mike Gartner hit the empty net.
Canucks 2, Stars 2
Vancouver and Dallas played a fourth straight tie in the season series. It was the first time in Stars history a season series resulted in nothing but ties.