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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 15: First NHL game played in New York

Plus: Chicago Stadium opener; Olympia Stadium finale

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Dec. 15

1925: The NHL makes its debut in the Big Apple when the first-year New York Americans play their first home game at the brand-new Madison Square Garden.

Promoter Tex Rickard insists that the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens must be the opponent, and the NHL obliges. He turns the first hockey game at the new arena into a high-society affair: The lower bowl is filled with men in tuxedos and women in evening gowns and furs.

The Americans delight the capacity crowd of 17,000 when Shorty Green scores 11:50 into the game for a 1-0 lead. But second-period goals by Albert Leduc and Billy Boucher put the Canadiens ahead, and Montreal star Howie Morenz finishes off the 3-1 victory when he scores at 8:00 of the third period.

Though the Americans finish 12-20 with four ties, hockey proves to be such a hit with New York fans that one year later, the Garden gets its own team. It's quickly dubbed "Tex's Rangers" by the newspapers and the second part of the name sticks.

 

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1929: The Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 in their first game at Chicago Stadium. The game draws 14,212 fans, about 6,000 more than the largest crowd at their previous home, Chicago Coliseum. The fans go home happy thanks to Vic Ripley who scores twice in 35 seconds during the second period.

 

1970: Glenn Hall of the St. Louis Blues becomes the second goalie in NHL history to reach 400 victories by making 38 saves in a 2-1 win against the visiting Minnesota North Stars. Bill Sutherland scores twice for St. Louis, and Hall allows only a second-period goal to Charlie Burns. He joins Terry Sawchuk in the 400-win club.

 

1979: The Detroit Red Wings play to a 4-4 tie with the Quebec Nordiques in their final game at Olympia Stadium, their home since 1927. A crowd of 15,109 watches the Red Wings rally from down three goals in the third period; defenseman Greg Joly ties the game with 1:25 remaining in the third. After a four-game road trip, the Red Wings open Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 27.

 

1992: Texas hosts its first NHL regular-season game when the New York Islanders defeat St. Louis 4-3 in overtime at Reunion Arena in Dallas. It's one of a series of neutral-site games played by the League. One year later, Dallas gets its own team when the Minnesota North Stars relocate.

 

1995: Deron Quint, a 19-year-old rookie defenseman, ties one of the NHL's oldest records when he scores two goals in four seconds to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat the visiting Edmonton Oilers 9-4. Quint scores at 7:51 and 7:55 of the second period to match the mark set by Nels Stewart of the Montreal Maroons in 1931. Teemu Selanne leads the Jets by scoring four goals, and Alexei Zhamnov has four assists.

 

2001: Mark Messier becomes the third player in NHL history to reach 1,800 points when he has a goal and an assist for the New York Rangers in a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. He joins Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.

Video: Mark Messier was one of NHL's greatest leaders

 

2015: Patrick Kane's 26-game point streak ends when the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 at United Center. Kane has no shots on goal in 23:11 of ice time, ending the longest streak in the League since Mats Sundin of the Quebec Nordiques has points in 30 consecutive games during the 1992-93 season.

 

2018: Alex Ovechkin scores his 29th goal of the season in the Washington Capitals' 4-3 shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena. The goal extends his NHL career-best point streak to 14 games and his goal-scoring streak to six, although he comes up short in his quest to become the first player in League history to have a hat trick in three consecutive games. Instead, he scores the deciding goal in the shootout.

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