Skip to main content


This Date in NHL History

April 2: Coffey sets record for goals by defenseman

Plus: Hill scores third OT winner in same series; Gretzky first teenager to score 50 times in one season

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1986: Paul Coffey ties and then breaks Bobby Orr's NHL single-season record for goals by a defenseman by scoring twice in the Edmonton Oilers 8-4 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Northlands Coliseum.

Coffey ties Orr's mark of 46 goals, set in 1974-75, by scoring an unassisted goal late in the first period, then gets No. 47 by beating Wendell Young 2:44 into the second period. He scores a power-play goal against the Calgary Flames two days later and finishes the season with 48 goals, still an NHL record.

Video: Memories: Coffey passes Orr's NHL record for goals



1927: Lorne Chabot of the New York Rangers becomes the first rookie goaltender in NHL history to earn a shutout in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut. Neither Chabot nor Boston's Hal Winkler allow a goal in a scoreless tie in Game 1 of the Semifinals.


1939: Mel Hill, a 25-year-old forward in his first full NHL season, earns the nickname "Sudden Death" by scoring his third overtime goal of the Bruins' Stanley Cup Semifinal series against the New York Rangers to win Game 7. Ray Getliffe of the Bruins and the Rangers' Muzz Patrick score less than two minutes apart late in the second period at Boston Garden, but goaltenders Frank Brimsek of the Bruins and Bert Gardiner of the Rangers keep the game tied 1-1 through the rest of regulation time and two overtime periods. But Hill, whose overtime goals win Games 1 and 2 for the Bruins, strikes again at 8:00 of the third overtime. He takes a pass from Bill Cowley in front of the Rangers' net, holds the puck for a second and flips it past Gardiner on the short side to win the series. More than 75 years later, Hill is still the only player in NHL history to score three overtime goals in one playoff series.


1969: Ted Irvine of the Los Angeles Kings scores 19 seconds into overtime, setting a playoff record for fastest OT goal. The Kings defeat the Oakland Seals 5-4 for their first postseason overtime victory.


1972: Bobby Hull scores his 604th and final goal as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks in a 6-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Stadium. It is the 50th goal of the season for the "Golden Jet," making him the first NHL player to reach the 50-goal mark five times.

Video: Bobby Hull used slap shot to win three scoring titles


1977: The Montreal Canadiens break their own single-season record for victories when they defeat the Washington Capitals 11-0 at the Forum. It's their 59th win, one more than the mark they set in 1975-76. Guy Lafleur and Bob Gainey each score a goal and have three assists to help Montreal extend its NHL-record home-ice undefeated streak to 34 games (28 wins, six ties). They defeat the Capitals 2-1 in Landover, Maryland, the next night and finish 60-8-12 for 132 points, still an NHL record.


1980: Edmonton Oilers rookie Wayne Gretzky becomes the first teenager to score 50 goals in an NHL season. Gretzky, 19, scores in a 1-1 tie against the Minnesota North Stars at Northlands Coliseum.

Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points


1994: The San Jose Sharks defeat the Vancouver Canucks 7-4, giving them a record of 31-33-15 and 77 points, a 53-point improvement from the previous season. It's the biggest turnaround by any team in NHL history.


2004: The Toronto Maple Leafs set a franchise record by earning their 101st point of the season with a 2-0 road win against the Buffalo Sabres. Ed Belfour gets the 74th shutout of his career.


2016: Lindy Ruff becomes the fifth coach in NHL history to win 700 games when the Dallas Stars defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 at Staples Center. He joins Scotty Bowman, Joel Quenneville, Al Arbour and Ken Hitchcock as coaches with 700 NHL wins. "It means I've been around a long time," says Ruff, who's in his third season with the Stars after coaching the Buffalo Sabres for 15 seasons.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.