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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 3: Esposito's No. 7 retired by Bruins

Plus: Armstrong plays first NHL game with Maple Leafs; Islanders get 500th win

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1987: The Boston Bruins retire Hall of Famer Phil Esposito's No. 7, with an assist from Ray Bourque.

Bourque has worn No. 7 since entering the NHL in 1978, and there doesn't seem to be anything unusual when Boston's captain skates to center ice to present Esposito with the number he wears while piling up record-setting offensive numbers with the Bruins. Instead, Bourque makes it a night no one in Boston Garden will ever forget when he pulls off his No. 7 jersey to reveal his new No. 77. 

"This is yours, big fella. It's not mine and it never should have been mine and I never wanted it," Bourque says. "It's yours and always should have been yours."

The game itself doesn't go as well for Esposito, now the general manager of the New York Rangers, who lose 4-3.

Video: Phil Esposito was record-setting goal scorer



1929: The Bruins begin two NHL-record winning streaks when they defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 at Boston Garden. It's the first of 14 consecutive victories for the Bruins and their first of 22 consecutive home wins. The record for consecutive victories lasts until the New York Islanders win 15 in a row in 1981-82, and the 22-game home winning streak remains a record until the Detroit Red Wings win 23 straight during the 2011-12 season.


1949: George Armstrong of the Toronto Maple Leafs plays in his first NHL game. He stays with the Maple Leafs through the 1970-71 season, setting a team record by playing in 1,187 games. He is the only player to skate for the Maple Leafs in the 1940s, 1950s 1960s and 1970s. Armstrong finishes his career with 713 points (296 goals, 417 assists), and he is captain of Toronto's four Stanley Cup-winning teams in the 1960s.


1970: Frank Mahovlich of the Detroit Red Wings becomes the sixth player in NHL history to score 400 career goals. The milestone comes when he gets a power-play goal early in the second period of Detroit's 4-4 tie with the visiting Los Angeles Kings.

Video: Frank Mahovlich won Stanley Cup six times


1984: The Islanders earn the 500th regular-season victory in their history when they defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 at Pacific Coliseum. Win No. 500 comes in the Islanders' 980th game, the second-fastest in NHL history at that time behind the Bruins (976 games).


2002: Pavel Bure gets his only hat trick as a member of the Rangers when he scores three goals in a 5-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden. Exactly four years later, another future Hall of Famer, Brendan Shanahan, gets his only hat trick with the Rangers in a 7-4 loss to the Islanders, also at the Garden.


2015: Patrick Kane ties Bobby Hull's team-record 21-game point streak with a goal and two assists in the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. He ties Hull's mark with a power-play goal in the second period.


2017: The Vegas Golden Knights become the first team to win 10 of its first 12 home games in its inaugural season by defeating the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 in overtime at T-Mobile Arena. Reilly Smith's goal at 3:51 of OT also gives the Golden Knights their fourth win in as many games against Arizona.


2019: Jaroslav Halak celebrates his 500th NHL appearance by making 24 saves for the Bruins in a 2-0 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. Third-period goals by Charlie Coyle and David Krejci provide the offense, and Halak does the rest in his 49th NHL shutout. Boston extends its winning streak to eight games and its point streak to 12 (9-0-3).

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