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This Date in NHL History

April 1: Bossy becomes first rookie to score 50

Plus: Leach gets No. 60 for Flyers; Crosby reaches 300-goal mark

by John Kreiser @JKreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: April 1

1978: Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders becomes the first NHL rookie to score 50 goals in a season. Bossy scores No. 50 at 11:52 of the third period, then gets No. 51 with five seconds to play, giving the Islanders a 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum.

Bossy goes on to score 60 or more goals five times during his career, and his nine consecutive 50-goal seasons are still an NHL record. The Montreal native wins four Stanley Cup championships with the Islanders during his 10-season career, finishing with 573 regular-season goals and 85 more in the playoffs. He retires at age 30 because of back problems.

"A lot of times, players look up at the clock and say to themselves, 'Well, it's too late to score,'" Islanders general manager Bill Torrey says years later. "It was never, ever too late for Mike Bossy to score."

Video: Mike Bossy had record nine straight 50-goal seasons

 

MORE MOMENTS

1919: The fifth and deciding game of the Stanley Cup Final between the Montreal Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans is canceled because of an influenza epidemic. It's still the only time that the Cup is not awarded once the Final has begun.

 

1926: Clint Benedict becomes the first NHL goalie to earn three straight playoff shutouts when the Montreal Maroons defeat the visiting Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League 3-0 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Maroons lose Game 3, but Benedict helps Montreal to a 2-0 victory in Game 4 for a 3-1 victory in the best-of-5 series. It is the last Final involving a non-NHL team; after the 1925-26 season, the NHL is the only major pro league still in existence and takes sole control of competition for the Cup.

 

1954: Gordie Howe sets a Stanley Cup Playoff record for the fastest goal from the start of a game by scoring nine seconds after the opening faceoff in the Detroit Red Wings' 4-3 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the Semifinals. Howe has two goals and an assist before Ted Lindsay scores the winner 1:01 into the second overtime.

Video: Gordie Howe, 'Mr. Hockey,' enjoyed five-decade career

 

1976: Reggie Leach of the Philadelphia Flyers becomes the second player in NHL history to score 60 goals in a season by scoring twice in an 11-2 victory against the Washington Capitals at the Spectrum. Leach scores No. 59 at 3:58 of the first period, then gets his 60th at 10:06 of the second period. Center Bobby Clarke has five assists, and Philadelphia sets a team record with 62 shots on goal. It's the 19th straight home win for the Flyers, extending their team record.

 

1980: Mike Liut becomes the first goaltender in St. Louis Blues history to win 30 games in one season, Mike Zuke has three assists and the Blues become the second post-1967 expansion team to win 250 home games. The milestone victory is a 5-2 win against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

 

1989: The New York Rangers fire coach Michel Bergeron with two games remaining in the regular season. General manager Phil Esposito takes over, but the Rangers lose those two games before being swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Patrick Division Semifinals. Esposito is fired not long afterward.

 

1993: Pavel Bure becomes the first player in the history of the Vancouver to score 100 points in a season. Bure reaches the milestone by scoring one goal and setting up another in a 5-3 road win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bure also sets a Canucks record with his seventh shorthanded goal of the season.

On the same night, Winnipeg Jets rookie Teemu Selanne extends his goal streak to nine games by scoring twice in a 9-5 win against the San Jose Sharks at the Cow Palace. The goals are his 72nd and 73rd of the season. He also has two assists

 

2004: The Boston Bruins become the first team in NHL history to play 30 overtime games in one regular season. OT game No. 30 is a 3-3 tie against the Capitals at TD Garden.

 

2008: The Buffalo Sabres become the second post-1967 expansion team to win 1,400 games when they defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout at Air Canada Centre. Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller makes his 75th appearance of the season and Maxim Afinogenov scores the winner in the sixth round of the tiebreaker.

 

2015: Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores his 300th NHL goal in 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He's the 18th active player to reach the mark and the 186th in League history. The goal comes against goaltender Steve Mason at 3:29 in the first period.

 

2018: Alex Ovechkin becomes the first player in Washington Capitals history to skate in 1,000 NHL games, and the 54th in the NHL to do so with one franchise from the start of his career. Ovechkin and the Capitals defeat the Penguins 3-1 at PPG Paints Arena to clinch the Metropolitan Division for the third consecutive season.

Video: Caps clinch division title with 3-1 win against Pens

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