It’s not often two teammates have dominated the league the way that Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did during their prime with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It would’ve been a privilege for any team to have one player of the same caliber, and the Penguins just happened to have two of them.
Year after year, the duo racked up a crazy amount of goals and points, but perhaps, their most staggering showdown came during the 1995-1996 season.
Ahead of the game against the Hartford Whalers, both players stood on 48 goals on the season. After the first period, both were on 49.
Then Lemieux approached Jagr with a bet.
“Hey, kid, let’s bet who’s going to be first to get to 50.” Lemieux said.
He later told the media:
“I told him that on the bench,” said Lemieux, who got his 50th about four minutes before his teammate did. “We had a little race going after he scored his 49th. The first one to 50 was for a bottle of champagne. I have one coming, I guess. It was a special night.”
In the third period, Lemieux only needed about three minutes to score his 50th of the season, but just a couple of minutes later, Jagr won the game with his 50th goal. He became the first Czech player in the NHL to score that many in one season, and the duo broke some NHL history. It was only the second time in NHL history that teammates reached 50 goals each, as Lemieux had done just that with Kevin Stevens three years earlier.
Later that year, Lemieux earned the Art Ross Trophy after scoring a whopping 69 goals.