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Mario was super despite the obstacles

Oct. 11, 1984: Lemieux's first NHL game

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Lemieux joins elite scoring list
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Jan. 20, 1989: Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux joins Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history to score 50 goals in fewer than 50 games. Just 78 seconds into his 44th game (No. 46 for Pittsburgh), Lemieux skates past the faceoff circle and beats Winnipeg Jets goal Pokey Reddick with a shot to the short side.

Gretzky has accomplished the feat three times, with the record coming in the 1981-82 season when he scored 50 goals in just 39 games.

Only 23 and in his fifth season, Lemieux also becomes the Penguins' all-time leading scorer in the 7-3 loss to the Jets when he gets two assists. With 638 points, Lemieux passes Rick Kehoe (636).

Despite the two marks, Lemieux sits dejectedly in the locker room after the game. "We didn't put any type of effort in out there," he says with a sigh. "I don't know what's going on."

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