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NHL Career Power Play Goal Leaders
Mando Diao: "Welcome Home Luc Robitaille"
Power play goals are the epitome of opportunity in the NHL. Having a man-advantage is the one time a team is expected to score a goal against a weakened opponent. Still, a good power play is only somewhere around the 25% mark. Here, we take a look at those players who have maximized those opportunities and lead the NHL in career power play goals.
Dave Andreychuk (274)-Left wing Dave Andreychuk played in the NHL for 23 seasons, from 1982 to 2006. Over that time, Andreychuk scored 640 goals and assisted on 698 others. But he was a power play specialist, as 274 of Andreychuk's goals were on the power play, or 42% of his total. He also ranks first in NHL history in power play goals, a mark that could stand for a while. Andreychuk's best season for PPG was in 1992-93 when he played for both Buffalo and Toronto, notching a career-high 54 goals, 32 of those on the power play.
Brett Hull (265)-Right wing Brett Hull, son of the legendary Bobby Hull, may have become even more famous than his dad. Hull played for several teams over his career from 1986 through 2006, and his mark of 265 power play goals is second in NHL history. Hull's best season was 1990-91 while with St. Louis, when he scored a career best 86 goals, 29 of those on the power play.
Phil Esposito (249)-Center Phil Esposito was a great goal scorer for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers from 1963 to 1981. Esposito scored 717 goals over his career, 249 of those on the power play, the latter of which ranks him third in NHL history. Esposito scored 28 power play goals in 1971-72, and his best season overall was 1970-71, when he had 76 goals and 76 assists for 152 total points.
Luc Robitaille (247)-Left wing Luc Robitaille played for a few different teams over his NHL career, which ran from 1986 to 2006, and he was always a prolific goal scorer. Robitaille ranks fourth in NHL history with 247 power play goals and he had 668 goals and 726 assists in all. Robitaille had a career best 26 power play goals in 1991-92 with Los Angeles and his best overall season was 1992-93 (also with the Kings) when he scored 63 goals with 62 assists.
Mario Lemieux (236)-Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux was touted as the second coming of Wayne Gretzky, and if it weren't for a bout with cancer, Lemieux may have eventually matched many of the Great One's offensive numbers. One mark that he leads Gretzky in for his career is power play goals. Lemieux ranks fifth in league history with 236, while Gretzky had only 204. Lemieux's best season was 1988-89 when he scored 85 goals with 114 assists, and 31 power play goals-all career best numbers.
Brendan Shanahan (235)-Left wing Brendan Shanahan is the only active player at press time, as he is with the New York Rangers in 2008. Shanahan has been in the NHL since 1987, and he ranks sixth in NHL history with 235 power play goals. Shanahan scored a career high 20 power play goals in 1996-97 for Buffalo and Toronto, and his best overall season was 1993-94 with St. Louis, when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 50 more.
Marcel Dionne (234)-Center Marcel Dionne was an offensive-minded player and played in the NHL from 1971 to 1989 with the Red Wings, Kings and Rangers. Dionne ranks sixth in league history with 234 power play goals and had a career high of 23 in 1980-81. Dionne's best overall season was 1979-80 with Los Angeles, when he scored 53 goals with 84 assists for a career best 137 total points.
Dino Ciccarelli (232)-Right wing Dino Ciccarelli played in the NHL with several teams from 1980 to 1999, and over that time amassed 232 power play goals, ranking him eighth in the NHL's history. Ciccarelli scored a career best 22 power play goals in 1986-87 with Minnesota, and his best overall season was 1981-82, with 55 goals and 51 assists.
Mike Gartner (217)-Right wing Mike Gartner scored 708 career goals, 217 of those on the power play (ninth in NHL history) for several different teams from 1979 to 1998. Gartner scored 22 power play goals in 1990-91 with the Rangers, and his best season overall was 1984-85 with the Washington Capitals, when Gartner scored 102 points with career highs in both goals (50) and assists (52).
Joe Nieuwendyk (215)-Center Joe Nieuwendyk ranks tenth in NHL history with 215 career power play goals for several teams between 1986 and 2007. Nieuwendyk had 31 power play goals for Calgary in 1986-87, and his best overall season was 1989-90 when he scored 45 goals with 50 assists for a career high 95 points.