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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 1: NHL debuts in United States

Plus: Nicholls has six assists, eight points; Canadiens play 5,000th game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1924: The NHL makes its debut in the United States when the Boston Bruins play their first game, a 2-1 victory against the Montreal Maroons at Boston Arena.

Smokey Harris and Carson Cooper score for Boston after Montreal takes the lead when Chuck Dinsmore beats Hec Fowler midway through the first period.

The opening-night victory is one of the few highlights for the Bruins in their first NHL season; they go 6-24-0 and finish last in the six-team league. But Boston finishes above .500 in its second season and wins the Stanley Cup in 1929.



1940: "Brotherly love" takes on a whole new meaning when the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the New York Rangers 4-1 at Chicago Stadium. The game features four sets of brothers: New York's Lynn Patrick and Muzz Patrick, and Neil Colville and Mac Colville play against Chicago's brother combinations of Max Bentley and Doug Bentley, and Bob Carse and Bill Carse.

On the same night, the Bruins score seven unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the New York Americans 10-3 at Madison Square Garden. Bill Cowley sets a Bruins record with six points (two goals, four assists). Three of the assists come on goals by Eddie Wiseman.


1960: Gordie Howe has two third-period assists for the Detroit Red Wings in a 3-2 home loss to the Bruins, moving him past the NHL record of 1,091 points (regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs) set by recently retired Montreal Canadiens star Maurice Richard

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


1988: Bernie Nicholls sets Los Angeles Kings records with six assists and eight points in a 9-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Nicholls' big night overshadows a five-assist performance by Wayne Gretzky and a hat trick by Dave Taylor


1996: Gretzky becomes the first (and still only) NHL player to reach the 3,000-point plateau (including the Stanley Cup Playoffs) when he has a goal and an assist in the New York Rangers' 6-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden. Gretzky finishes his NHL career with 2,857 regular-season points and 382 in the playoffs.

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


1997: The Montreal Canadiens become the first team in NHL history to play 5,000 games when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins at Molson Centre (now Bell Centre). The Penguins spoil the festivities by winning 1-0.


2014: Arizona Coyotes rookie Tobias Rieder scores shorthanded goals 58 seconds apart in the second period of a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Rieder becomes the first rookie in NHL history to score two shorthanded goals in less than one minute. He beats Viktor Fasth on a breakaway 36 seconds into the second period, then scores again at 1:34.


2018: The New York Islanders rally for a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in their first home game at Nassau Coliseum since 2015. The Islanders move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the start of the 2015-16 season, but after getting approval for a new arena at Belmont Park that's scheduled to open in 2021-22, they split their 2018-19 schedule between their new and old homes.


2019: Mikko Koivu has a night to remember in the Minnesota Wild's 3-2 shootout win against the Dallas Stars at Xcel Energy Center. Koivu becomes the first player in Wild history to play in 1,000 NHL games (all with Minnesota), gets his 700th assist on a first-period goal by Kevin Fiala, then tops off his night by scoring the deciding goal in the shootout.

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