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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Esposito is second to join the 700 club
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Feb. 2, 1980

With two goals against the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers center Phil Esposito joins Gordie Howe as the only NHL players to score 700 regular-season goals.

No. 699 comes late in the second period on a power play. It is the kind of goal that Esposito has all but patented. Taking a pass in the crease from Ron Greschner, the 37-year-old Espo snaps the puck past Washington goalie Wayne Stephenson. No. 700 comes early in the third period when he breaks in with a pass from Don Maloney and his wrist shot goes off Stephenson and bounces into the net.

"The one I remember best of all of those 700 goals was No. 1, against Montreal, when I was with Chicago and Bobby Hull got an assist on it," Esposito says after the Rangers' 6-1 victory in Landover, Md. "I'll never catch Gordie. He'll probably still be playing when I retire."

The 51-year-old Howe, who has 797 goals, will score four more before retiring at the end of the season. Espo will finish his 18-year career in 1981 with 717 goals.

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