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  • HOCKEY NOTE

    Monday, December 15, 1:39 AM
    (UPDATING WITH MORE QUOTES)
    
    *Coyotes RW Mike Gartner scores 700th career goal*
    -------------------------------------------------- 
    
    The National Hockey League's 700 Club expanded to five tonight
    when Phoenix Coyotes right wing Mike Gartner reached the
    historic goal milestone against the defending Stanley Cup
    champion Detroit Red Wings. 
    
    With his goal against Chris Osgood at 9:19 of the first period,
    Gartner joined Wayne Gretzky of the New York Rangers (871) and
    former stars Gordie Howe (801), Marcel Dionne (731) and Phil
    Esposito (717) as the elite NHL players to reach 700 career
    goals. 
    
    Craig Janney had the puck in the right faceoff circle and found
    Gartner at the right doorstep with a cross-slot pass.  Gartner
    desposited the puck into the top right corner of the net,
    beating Osgood for his fourth goal of the season. 
    
    "Obviously, I'm very happy to reach the milestone," said
    Gartner, who became the first player to score his 700th goal on
    home ice. "It's been hovering there for a while.  I'm very happy
    about it. I could sense over the last couple of games that they
    were going to be there to see it.  I really wanted to do it at
    home.  It just made it that much sweeter." 
    
    "Keith Tkachuk made a good play keeping the puck in the zone," 
    he added.  "We had a good rotation and Dids (Diduck) was able to 
    come down and pinch to keep the puck in and Craig, as he does so 
    well, got behind the net and saw me pop into a hole, and just 
    threw it to that hole, and shot at the net.  I think Keith was 
    screening and it happened to go into the net."
    
    Gartner added his 701st career goal with 4:44 to play, lifting 
    the Coyotes into a 3-3 tie with Detroit.
    
    The 38-year-old Gartner has been through an up-and-down season,
    and was playing in just his 19th game.  He missed a chunk of the
    campaign with a torn left medial collateral ligament suffered
    November 2nd in the 13th game of the season. 
    
    "I'm sure I'll probably enjoy it more the day when I retire and
    have time to reflect because really, you're only good as your  
    last game," Gartner added.  "You can't rest on all your past 
    accomplishments."  
    
    After a stint on the sidelines, the Coyotes waived Gartner, but
    no team opted to pick him up.  He went back to Phoenix and has
    responded with goals in back-to-back games, his fifth and sixth
    since returning to the lineup. 
    
    Gartner had been one of hockey's most durable players, having
    not missed a game since the 1994-95 season.  The seven-time
    All-Star had 32 goals and 31 assists last season, his 18th in
    the NHL.  He was off to a slow start this year, picking up just
    two goals and four assists in 13 games before the injury. 
    
    Until the lockout-shortened campaign of 1994-95, Gartner scored
    at least 33 goals every season since entering the league in
    1979-80, reaching the 30-goal mark all but once in his career. 
    
    
    


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