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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 27: Lemieux returns after 44-month retirement

Plus: Hall plays first NHL game; Red Wings open Joe Louis Arena

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2000: Mario Lemieux's NHL comeback is a huge success.

After 44 months in retirement, during which he is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and becomes owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Lemieux makes a return for the ages. He assists on Jaromir Jagr 's goal 33 seconds into his first shift, scores a goal and an assist in the second period and finishes with a three-point night in Pittsburgh's 5-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Mellon Arena.

Three nights later, Lemieux has a goal and three assists against the Ottawa Senators in his second game. He finishes the season with 76 points (35 goals, 41 assists) in 43 games.

Video: Memories: Mario Lemieux returns to the Penguins



1952: Detroit Red Wings goalie Glenn Hall plays his first NHL game, a 2-2 tie against the Montreal Canadiens at Olympia Stadium. Hall helps the Red Wings extend their record undefeated streak to 14 games (seven wins, seven ties).

Video: Ironman Glenn Hall started 502 straight games in goal


1979: The Red Wings open their new home, Joe Louis Arena, with a game against the St. Louis Blues. A crowd of 19,742 watches the Blues rally for a 3-2 victory. St. Louis forward Brian Sutter's goal 11:05 into the game is the first in the arena's history. Detroit leads 2-1 after two periods on goals by Dennis Sobchuk and Dan Bolduc, but Bernie Federko ties the game at 11:16 of the third and sets up Blair Chapman for the game-winner at 13:41.

On the same night, Charlie Simmer extends his goal-scoring streak to 13 games. Simmer scores his 33rd and 34th goals of the season in the Los Angeles Kings' 3-0 victory against the Quebec Nordiques at the Forum in Inglewood, California.


1981: Wayne Gretzky reaches the 100-point mark in his 38th game of the season by scoring four goals and assisting on another in the Edmonton Oilers' 10-3 victory against the Kings at Northlands Coliseum. It's the fastest anyone has ever reached 100 points; that mark lasts until he does it in 34 games two years later. Gretzky finishes the night with 400 points in 197 NHL games. 

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


1990: The Oilers earn their 500th NHL victory by defeating the visiting Calgary Flames 4-1. The win gives the Oilers a lifetime record of 500-295 with 120 ties in 915 games; their .612 winning percentage is the best of any NHL franchise at that time.


1999: Joe Sakic becomes the 56th NHL player to reach 1,000 points when he has an assist in the Colorado Avalanche's 5-1 victory against the Blues in Denver. Sakic is the 14th player to reach 1,000 points with the same franchise.

Video: Joe Sakic captained Avalanche to two Stanley Cup wins


2016: Sergei Bobrovsky makes 37 saves for the Columbus Blue Jackets in their 13th consecutive victory, 4-3 against the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena. Bobrovsky preserves the win when he stops a shot from Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara from the right circle with less than a minute remaining in the third period.


2017: The Vegas Golden Knights extend their point streak to 10 games, an NHL record for the longest such streak by a team in its inaugural season, by defeating the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 at Honda Center. Malcolm Subban makes 27 saves and four players score for the Golden Knights, whose 9-0-1 run eclipses the mark of nine games (5-0, four ties) set by the Florida Panthers in 1993-94.


2019: David Perron scores his fourth overtime goal of the season to give the Blues a 5-4 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Perron gets his fourth OT goal of 2019-20 in the Blues' 39th game; he joins Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks (39 games in 2015-16) as the only players to score four overtime goals before his team's 40th game of the season.

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