The 44-year-old from the Czech Republic recorded his 1,888th NHL point.
The 44-year-old from the Czech Republic recorded his 1,888th NHL point to pass Gretzky's former Edmonton Oiler teammate Mark Messier, on an assist on a third period goal by Aleksander Barkov in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
But the Czech Olympic hero has a long way to go (969 points) to catch Gretzky, who finished his career with 2,857 points. Former Detroit Red Wing Gordie Howe is fourth with 1,850.
The game was stopped for a celebration, and Jagr came onto the ice to accept the commemorative golden stick from the Panthers.
He waved to the crowd of 14,600 at the BB&T Center arena and received congratulations from players on both teams.
"I appreciate everything... over my hockey career, and I thank the fans," Jagr said in a brief ceremony.
Jagr would have claimed second place sooner, but he took a three-year hiatus from the NHL between 2008 and 2011 to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
"The Florida Panthers are honored and thrilled to congratulate Jaromir on his historic accomplishment," Panthers president of hockey operations Dale Tallon said. "A future Hall-of-Famer, Jaromir has been an elite talent since his first day in the NHL and is one of the league's most iconic players."
In his career, the 13-time all-star has won five Art Ross Trophies (points leader), three Ted Lindsay/Lester B. Pearson Awards (most outstanding player) and one Hart Trophy (MVP), to go with two Stanley Cups with the Penguins.
Jagr was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1990 entry draft.