Skip to main content
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 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Dec. 1

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.

 

MORE MOMENTS

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 Bowley 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 team records with six assists and eight points in the Los Angeles Kings' 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) player in NHL history to reach the 3,000-point plateau (including the Stanley Cup Playoffs) when he has a goal and an assist in the 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 60 seconds. 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.

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.