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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 25: Howe celebrates Christmas with six-point game

Plus: Delvecchio passes Richard on scoring list; NHL plays on Dec. 25 for final time in 1971

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1956: Gordie Howe celebrates Christmas with the biggest scoring night of his NHL career.

Howe scores six points (three goals, three assists) for the Detroit Red Wings in an 8-1 victory against the New York Rangers at Olympia Stadium. Two of the three goals come in the third period, when the Red Wings blow the game open by scoring six times. The hat trick is the 12th of Howe's 26-season NHL career.

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



1930: The Detroit Falcons (renamed the Red Wings in 1932) defeat the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 10-1. The 10 goals are the most scored by any team on Christmas Day. The two-team high is 12 in the Boston Bruins' 8-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Garden in 1970.


1965: Henri Richard sets up three goals for the Montreal Canadiens before scoring the game-winner in a 4-3 victory against the visiting Red Wings. Richard has an assist in each period before scoring the winning goal with 2:11 remaining in the third. It's the last Christmas Day game played at the Forum.


1968: Alex Delvecchio of the Red Wings passes Maurice Richard for third place on the NHL all-time scoring list when he gets two assists in a 6-3 loss to the Penguins at the Civic Arena. The two assists give Delvecchio 967 points; he trails Howe (1,629) and Jean Beliveau (1,050).

Video: Alex Delvecchio was third member of 1,000-point club


1971: The six games on the schedule mark the last time the NHL plays on Christmas Day. In what goes down as the final NHL game to be played on Dec. 25, the California Golden Seals defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Stan Gilbertson's empty-net goal is the final one to be scored on Christmas.

Earlier in the evening, the Rangers defeat the Minnesota North Stars 2-1 at Met Center, improving their Christmas record to 25-10 with two ties, the best of any NHL team on Dec. 25.

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