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This Date in NHL History

Dec. 4: Howe scores 700th NHL goal

Plus: Canadiens franchise founded; Messier gets point No. 1,400

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1968: Gordie Howe becomes the first member of the NHL's 700-goal club.

Howe reaches the milestone when he takes a pass from Frank Mahovlich and beats goalie Les Binkley with a low shot 7:13 into the Detroit Red Wings' 7-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Civic Arena.

The goal comes two games after Howe gets No. 699 against Glenn Hall of the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 28.

So is No. 700 a big thrill?

"I really believe my first National Hockey League goal provided a bigger thrill," Howe says of his goal against Turk Broda of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 16, 1946.

Howe finishes his NHL career in 1980 with 801 goals.

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



1909: The oldest NHL franchise still in operation is officially founded when J. Ambrose O'Brien creates the Club de Hockey Canadien, known to fans for more than a century as the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are part of the National Hockey Association, the NHL's predecessor, and finish 2-10-0 in their first season.


1938: Tiny Thompson gets his 75th NHL shutout and first with the Red Wings in a 1-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Olympia Stadium. It comes in his second game after being acquired from the Boston Bruins, and he's the first goalie in NHL history to have 75 shutouts.

On the same night, Thompson's replacement in Boston, Frank Brimsek, gets his first NHL shutout when the Bruins defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0 at Chicago Stadium. It's the first of six shutouts by Brimsek in his next seven games.


1943: Montreal's Bill Durnan extends his NHL record for the longest unbeaten streak by a rookie goalie from the start of his career to 14 games (12-0 with two ties) when the Canadiens defeat the Red Wings 8-2 at the Forum. Durnan's record stands for more than 50 years until Patrick Lalime breaks it in 1996-97 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gerry Heffernan scores four goals and has an assist for the Canadiens.

Video: Bill Durnan was a six-time Vezina Trophy winner


1960: The Toronto Maple Leafs begin a seven-game road winning streak with a 5-2 victory against the Boston Bruins. The winning streak includes at least one victory at each of the other five NHL arenas.


1963: Boston's Andy Hebenton plays his NHL-record 581st consecutive game, passing the mark of 580 held by Johnny Wilson. He goes scoreless in a 2-2 tie with the Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium. Hebenton never misses a game during nine NHL seasons, playing 630 consecutive games.


1988: Jimmy Carson of the Edmonton Oilers becomes the third player in NHL history to have six hat tricks before age 21. Carson scores three goals and has an assist in the Oilers' 10-6 victory against the New York Rangers at Northlands Coliseum. It's his first hat trick with the Oilers, who acquire him from the Los Angeles Kings on Aug. 9, 1988, as part of the Wayne Gretzky trade. Carson's performance overshadows a big night for New York's Guy Lafleur, who matches his NHL career high with four assists.


1995: Mark Messier becomes the seventh player in NHL history to reach 1,400 points when he has a goal and two assists in the Rangers' 5-1 victory against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at Madison Square Garden.


2017: Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals scores at 7:11 of a 4-1 victory against the visiting San Jose Sharks to become the first NHL player to reach 20 goals in 2017-18. It's the 578th goal of his career, moving him past Mark Recchi into 20th place on the NHL's all-time list.


2018: The Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Red Wings 6-5 in a shootout at Little Caesars Arena, giving rookie goalie Edward Pasquale a win in his NHL debut. The 28-year-old makes 19 saves in his first NHL game after spending most of the previous eight seasons in the American Hockey League.

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