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This Date in NHL History

Feb. 4: Wayne Gretzky gets 44th NHL hat trick

Terry Sawchuk wins 400th game; Mario Lemieux scores 600th goal

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1989: Wayne Gretzky scores three goals for his 44th NHL hat trick and first with the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at the Forum in Inglewood, California. He gets a little help: One goal is knocked into the Buffalo net by a member of the Sabres, and he is awarded an empty-net goal with one second remaining when the officials rule that a member of the Sabres intentionally knocked the net off its moorings.

Exactly 10 years later, Gretzky scores his 1,071st professional goal (regular season and playoffs, including the NHL and World Hockey Association) in the New York Rangers' 8-4 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. It ties him with Gordie Howe for total career goals scored.



1943: Frank Calder, president of the NHL since its inception in 1917, dies of a heart attack in a Montreal hospital. He's replaced on an interim basis by Red Dutton.


1961: The start of the Rangers-Boston Bruins game at Boston Garden is delayed for two hours because the Rangers are late in arriving due to a snowstorm.

Though the Rangers are only able to dress 13 players, Andy Hebenton and Harry Howell score 34 seconds apart early in the second period and Gump Worsley makes the lead stand up for a 2-1 victory.


1965: Terry Sawchuk of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to reach 400 career victories. The milestone win comes when the Maple Leafs defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 at the Forum.


1971: Gilles Villemure makes 30 saves and Rod Gilbert scores in the second period in the Rangers' 1-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Olympia Stadium. It's the last 1-0 shutout road shutout for the Rangers until Feb. 27, 1993, when Mike Richter makes 29 saves in a victory against the Edmonton Oilers.


1997: Mario Lemieux scores his 600th goal to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the visiting Vancouver Canucks 6-4. The milestone goal, into an empty net, comes in his 719th game, one more game than Gretzky needed to get his 600th goal. Lemieux does become the first player to score 600 goals while spending his entire career with one team.

Video: Mario Lemieux scored 100 points 10 different times

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