Daily News Sports Editor
Mark Recchi has moved into even more elite NHL company.
Recchi, one of Kamloops’ favourite native sons, scored two third-period goals Wednesday night, reaching the 1,500-point career mark as his Boston Bruins scored a 3-1 victory over the host Florida Panthers.
One of five owners of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, Recchi is the 13th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 points.
Paul Coffey, a Hall-of-Fame defenceman, is 12th on the all-time list, with 1,531 points.
“It was a big goal . . . it gave us a two-goal cushion,” Recchi told Nadko Funayama, NESN-TV’s rinkside reporter. “It’s nice to get it in a big win.”
It should come as no surprise that Recchi was quick to pass along some of the credit.
“My teammates are unbelievable,” said Recchi, who will turn 43 on Feb. 1. “They support me along the way. Obviously, you can’t do it without them. It’s been a long career and it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Boston head coach Claude Julien told Funayama: “It’s quite a milestone.”
Julien said that in congratulating Recchi he told the NHL’s oldest active player “I’m glad all these things are happening with our team.”
Recchi, who in 2000 was named Kamloops’ male athlete of the 20th century, played his first NHL game with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1988-89. They had selected him in the fourth round of the 1988 NHL draft. He also has played for the Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He has won Stanley Cups with the Penguins (1991) and Hurricanes (2006).
Recchi now has scored 567 goals, good for 20th on the all-time list. Mike Bossy, the former New York Islanders sniper, is next, at 573. Recchi is 15th in assists, with 933, one in arrears of former defenceman Al MacInnis. Also within reach are Jaromir Jagr (953) and Doug Gilmour (964).
Recchi has played in 1,591 regular-season NHL games, good for ninth place on the all-time list. If he stays healthy this season, he has a chance to move past Ray Bourque (1,612), Larry Murphy (1,615), Scott Stevens (1,635) and Dave Andreychuk (1,639), which would leave him fifth.
Recchi, who will turn 43 on Feb. 1, now has 15 points, including four goals, in 20 games. He has scored three times in his last five games, including two game-winners.
Last night, Recchi broke a 1-1 tie at 2:54 of the third period, taking a pass from David Krejci after some solid forechecking by Jordan Caron and beating Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun. With the Bruins enjoying a two-man advantage, Recchi added insurance at 16:00, banging in a short rebound from just off the right post.
Recchi played 13 minutes 39 seconds over 17 shifts. He had four shots on goal and was plus-1 as the Bruins won for the eighth time in 10 road games. They were beaten 3-1 by the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
The Bruins (12-6-2) are one point behind the Northeast Division-leading Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins next play Friday afternoon when they are at home to the Carolina Hurricanes. After hitting the road to play the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, the Flyers will be at home to Tampa Bay on Dec. 2. Then the Bruins will travel to Toronto for a Dec. 4 clash with the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.