Thursday, December 31, 2009
In one of the most miraculous nights in NHL history, on this date, New Year's Eve in 1988, Mario Lemeiux of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored five goals - in five different ways!
Their opponents that night were the New Jersey Devils and Lemieux began is night in typical Lemieux fashion, skating down the right side and scoring an even strength goal at 4:17 of the first period to tie the score at 1-1.
His next goal came shorthanded, undressing Aaron Broten and deking Devils goaltender Bob Sauve for a goal at 7:50 with the Penguins a man down.
He was then set up on a power play by Paul Coffey at 9:46 with the Devils two men short, firing a one-timer for the hat trick, all in the first period.
With the Penguins being awarded a penalty shot after the second Devils goaltender of the game, Chris Terreri, threw his stick at the puck while in Lemieux's posession, Lemieux was naturally chosen to take the shot. He converted through Tererri's legs for his fourth of the game at 11:14 of the second, making him three for three in his career penalty shots at the time.
He concluded his magical evening with an empty net goal at 19:59 of the third, giving him five goals in five different ways, something likely to never be repeated any time soon, if ever.
Teammates celebrate Lemieux's spectacular performance
His fifth goal sealed the Penguins victory by a final score of 8-6 as Lemieux completed his eight point night, as he had already assisted on the three goals he didn't score!
Today's featured jersey is a 1988-89 Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux jersey. as worn on the memorable night during which he scored 8 points on 3 assists and 5 goals, each scored a different way.
This is the first and only year for this particular variation of the Penguins jersey, as the previous season the white sweaters had a gold collar for one season and the numbers were still located up on the shoulders. For 1988-89, the collar changed back to black and the numbers were moved down onto the sleeves, now contained inside the yellow area.
Soon afterwards this style Penguins jersey would undergo it's final changes, with the names on the back now being a sans-serif block font. In addition, the font for the numbers would change slightly, to a thicker font for the back numbers and the sleeve numbers getting noticeably more squarish when compared to the previous style.
Here they are, all five goals in five different ways on New Year's Eve in 1988.