Crosby and Gretzky each scored once in first NHL playoff game for each

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Both hockey superstars were 19 when they did it, although there were 27 years three days between the goals.

With comparisons between the two popping up continuously because of their awesome talents on ice, we might as well add this one.

On April 8, 1980, the Edmonton Oilers skated into the Philadelphia Spectrum to take on the Flyers in a best-of-five first-round series.

The Flyers jumped to a two-goal lead and the Oilers, getting a goal from Gretzky, battled back to tie it 2-2 by the end of the first period. After a scoreless second period, Edmonton took a brief lead but the Flyers would force overtime and win it on Bobby Clarke's goal at 8:06 into sudden death. Gretzky also picked up an assist in the game.

Philadelphia won the next game 5-1 on home ice before going into Edmonton and winning 3-2 in double overtime to sweep the Oilers out of their first spring in the NHL.

Fast forward.

Crosby goes into Ottawa and his Pittsburgh Penguins are shellacked 6-3 by the Senators. The outcome was never in doubt. Crosby had a goal disallowed after sliding into the net with the puck, but he got his first NHL playoff goal on a power play with 49 seconds remaining. That was his lone point of the night.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series goes Saturday afternoon.

Gretzky finished that three-game set in '80 with two goals and one assist.

Gretzky had appeared as an 18-year-old in playoffs in his first pro season when the Oilers were part of the soon-to-be-defunct World Hockey Association, and he scored 10 goals, assisted on 10 and took one minor penalty in 13 games.

Crosby became the youngest winner of the Art Ross Trophy when he won the NHL scoring title with 120 points this season at 19 years and eight months.

Gretzky just missed winning the Ross when he was 19 years four months. Gretzky finished tied with Marcel Dionne with 137 points each and Dionne got the trophy because he had more goals - 53 to Gretzky's 51. Gretzky became the youngest to break the 50-goal barrier.

Gretzky would be named MVP that year, and Crosby will be a candidate for the Hart Memorial Trophy this year, too.


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