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This Date in NHL History

April 9: Howe scores final NHL goal

Plus: Penguins set record with 16th straight win; Gretzky becomes all-time playoff points leader

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1980: Gordie Howe scores his 68th and final goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when he beats Denis Herron at 13:59 of the third period of the Hartford Whalers' 8-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of the Preliminary Round.


The goal, a backhand shot set up by a pass from son Mark Howe, draws a standing ovation from the full house at the Forum. It comes nine days after the elder Howe's 52nd birthday, and it's his first in a Stanley Cup game in 10 years.

Gordie Howe, Mark Howe and Marty Howe each have points in the same NHL game for the only time in their careers. Gordie and Marty each finish with a goal and an assist; Mark has assists on the third-period goals by his brother and father.

Video: Memories: Gordie Howe scores his final playoff goal



1931: Cy Wentworth scores at 53:50 of overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. It's the longest overtime game in the Final until 1990, when the Edmonton Oilers defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 1 on a goal by Petr Klima at 55:13 of OT.

1942: Eddie Bush sets a record for points by a defenseman in a Cup Final game when he gets five (one goal, four assists) for the Detroit Red Wings in a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 at Olympia Stadium. Bush never scores another point in his NHL career.

1946: The Canadiens win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years by defeating the Boston Bruins 6-3 in Game 5 of the Final at the Forum. Elmer Lach scores a goal and assists on two others for the Canadiens, who score three unanswered goals in the third period for the win.


1963: Dick Duff of the Maple Leafs sets a playoff record for the fastest two goals from the start of a game. He scores twice against Terry Sawchuk of the Red Wings in the first 1:08 of Game 2 of the Final, sparking Toronto to a 4-2 victory.


1968: Minnesota North Stars forward Wayne Connelly becomes the first player in NHL history to score a on a penalty shot in a playoff game (the two previous attempts had failed). Connolly beats Sawchuk at 16:56 of the second period during the North Stars' 7-5 win against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Quarterfinals at Met Center.


1972: Pit Martin sets a playoff record for the fastest overtime goal when he scores 12 seconds into the extra period to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 6-5 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Civic Center, completing a four-game sweep. Bobby Hull scores once in the second period and twice in the third for his second and final hat trick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


1987: Wayne Gretzky ties a single-game playoff record with six assists and passes Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau for the all-time career playoff scoring lead during the Edmonton Oilers' 13-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of the Smythe Division Semifinals. Gretzky gets his 177th point, moving him past Beliveau for the most points in Stanley Cup play (he extends his record to 382 before retiring in 1999). The Oilers set a record of their own for most goals in a playoff game.

Video: Memories: Gretzky Sets Playoff Points Record


1993: The Pittsburgh Penguins break the NHL's record for consecutive victories, and they do it with a flourish. Mario Lemieux scores five goals and Joe Mullen has three to lead the Penguins to a 10-4 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for their 16th consecutive victory, surpassing the mark they had shared with the 1981-82 New York Islanders. The game is tied 2-2 after one period before Lemieux breaks it open in the second, scoring once on the power play, once while the Penguins are shorthanded and once at even strength for his 31st NHL hat trick. He and Mullen each score twice in Pittsburgh's five-goal third period.

Video: Memories: Penguins win their 16th consecutive game


2006: Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks has two assists in a 4-1 victory against the Dallas Stars to set an NHL record for most points by a player who was traded during that season. The Sharks acquire Thornton from the Bruins on Nov. 30, 2005. His 113th point surpasses the mark of 112 set by Bernie Nicholls with the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers in 1989-90. Thornton finishes with a League-leading 125 points, the most by any NHL player in the 21st century; he is still the only player to win the Art Ross Trophy after being traded in the same season.


2015: Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers has two assists in a 4-2 win against the Bruins to become the fourth player in NHL history to reach 1,800 points. He joins Gretzky (2,857), Mark Messier (1,887) and Howe (1,850) as the only players to score 1,800 points in the NHL.


2017: The Red Wings defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in the final NHL game played at Joe Louis Arena, their home since December 1979. Center Riley Sheahan, who enters Detroit's season finale without a goal in 80 games, scores twice. Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg plays his 1,000th game, all with Detroit, and scores a goal. The Red Wings move to Little Caesars Arena for the 2017-18 season.

Video: NJD@DET: Red Wings play final game at Joe Louis Arena

On the same night, the Anaheim Ducks win the Pacific Division title for the fifth consecutive season by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in overtime at Honda Center. Shea Theodore scores 53 seconds into OT for the win, which caps Anaheim's season-ending 11-0-3 run.

Also, Connor McDavid gets his NHL-leading 100th point when he assists on a third-period goal by Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton's 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. The 20-year-old center becomes the youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champion since Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins does it at age 19 in 2006-07. The Oilers finish the season 47-26-9 and qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

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