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This Date in NHL History

Feb. 5: Howe returns to Detroit for final All-Star Game

Plus: Yzerman scores 50 goals for second straight season; Roy wins No. 400

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Gordie Howe's Final All-Star Game

Gordie Howe's 23rd and final All-Star appearance

Feb 5, 1980: 51-year-old Howe returns to where it began: Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, for his 23rd ASG, outscoring a 19-year-old Wayne Gretzky

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1980: Gordie Howe receives one of the greatest spontaneous ovations ever given in sports when he steps onto the ice for the NHL All-Star Game at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The crowd of 21,002, the largest to see an NHL game at that time, stands as one when Howe is the final player to be introduced. The ovation lasts for four minutes, with fans chanting "Gordie, Gordie," and continues to roar until the singers for the national anthems are introduced.

It's Howe's 23rd and final NHL All-Star Game, but his first representing a team other than the Red Wings. He retires in 1971 after 25 seasons with Detroit but makes a comeback two years later with the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association. Howe plays six seasons in the WHA, the final two with the New England Whalers, and returns to the NHL when the now-Hartford Whalers are one of four teams that join the NHL in 1979.

Howe doesn't score, but he steals the puck and sets up Real Cloutier for the final goal of the game in the Wales Conference's 6-3 win against the Campbell Conference.

The game also signals the changing of the guard in the League: The Campbell Conference roster includes a 19-year-old center named Wayne Gretzky who grows up idolizing Howe and goes on to break most of his offensive records.



1943: Red Dutton is named as the new NHL president; he replaces Frank Calder, who had died the day before. Dutton serves until 1946, when Clarence Campbell takes over.


1989: Steve Yzerman reaches the 50-goal mark for the second straight season when he scores twice in Detroit's 6-2 road win against the Winnipeg Jets. After scoring exactly 50 goals in 1987-88, Yzerman finishes the 1988-89 season with an NHL career-high 65.

Video: Steve Yzerman was Detroit's captain for 19 seasons


1991: Dave Taylor has two assists in the Los Angeles Kings' 3-2 victory against the Flyers at the Spectrum to become the 29th NHL player to reach 1,000 points. The milestone comes in Taylor's 930th NHL game. He was selected by the Kings in the 15th round (No. 210) in the 1975 NHL Draft.


1994: Peter Bondra scores four goals on four shots in a span of 4:12 during the first period of the Washington Capitals' 6-3 win against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Bondra sets an NHL record for fastest four goals by one player. He scores his fifth goal of the game at 19:30 of the second period.


1997: Ron Francis becomes the second player in NHL history to have at least 500 points with two teams. Francis has two assists in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 6-3 road win against the Montreal Canadiens, giving him 500 points with the Penguins. Francis comes to the Penguins in 1991 after earning 821 points with the Whalers.


1999: Patrick Roy, 33, becomes the youngest goalie in NHL history to earn 400 victories when he makes 26 saves in the Colorado Avalanche's 3-1 win against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. It's the 10th win in a row for Roy and the 11th straight for the Avalanche.


2010: The New Jersey Devils score three times in the final 3:04 of the third period to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 at Prudential Center. Toronto leads 3-1 until Dean McAmmond scores at 16:56. Travis Zajac ties the game by scoring a power-play goal with 44 seconds remaining, and Jay Pandolfo scores the game-winner with 19 seconds to play.


2019: Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals passes Sergei Fedorov to become the NHL's all-time leading scorer among players born in Russia. Ovechkin gets his 1,180th point when he has an assist on a first-period goal by T.J. Oshie in a 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Capital One Arena.

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