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This Date in NHL History

Jan. 28: Wayne Gretzky's point streak ends at 51

Plus: Terry Sawchuk earns 101st NHL shutout; Denis Potvin sets record for goals by defenseman

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Jan. 28

1984: The longest point streak in NHL history ends at 51 games when the Los Angeles Kings keep Wayne Gretzky off the scoresheet and defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at Northlands Coliseum.

The Kings enter the game having allowed an NHL-worst 244 goals in 51 games and last in the Smythe Division at 14-27-10. But goaltender Markus Mattsson, playing in his second game after being recalled from the minors eight days earlier, is perfect through two periods before allowing two third-period goals where Gretzky is not involved. He plays almost all of the final five minutes in an attempt to keep the streak alive but Mattsson stops his fourth and final shot on goal with two seconds remaining.

Gretzky finishes the streak with 153 points (61 goals, 92 assists) in 51 games. Counting the final nine games of the previous season, he's scored in 60 consecutive regular-season games since March 11, 1983.

 

MORE MOMENTS

1918: Forward Joe Malone extends his goal-scoring streak to 11 games (which began with the NHL's inaugural game on Dec. 19, 1917) when he scores for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-1 loss at Toronto. It's the 25th goal of the season for Malone, who goes on to lead the new NHL with 44. 

 

1937: The career of Canadiens star Howie Morenz comes to an abrupt end when he breaks four bones in his left leg and ankle as the result of a collision during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Forum. Morenz, who rejoins the Canadiens for the 1936-37 season two years after being traded to Chicago, is tripped and goes into the corner, where his skate gets lodged in the boards. Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Earl Siebert accidentally falls over him, causing the injury. Morenz appears to be recovering, though he's told he'll never play hockey again. He dies of heart failure on March 8, 1937.

Video: Howie Morenz's broken leg ends career, life

 

1943: Max Bentley sets a Blackhawks record with seven points (four goals, three assists) in a 10-1 victory against the New York Rangers at Chicago Stadium. All four of Bentley's goals come in the third period, with his brother Doug assisting on each one.

 

1968: Terry Sawchuk makes 27 saves for his 101st NHL shutout in the Kings' 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum. It's Sawchuk's first shutout with the Kings and it extends his NHL record of having at least one shutout to 19 consecutive seasons.

 

1986: Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders sets the NHL record for goals by a defenseman when he scores his 271st goal in a 9-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Potvin surpasses the mark set by Bobby Orr.

 

 

1989: The NHL sets a single-day attendance record when 164,223 fans attend the 10 games on the schedule. Eight games are sellouts and 20,002 come to the Saddledome to see the Calgary Flames defeat the Blackhawks. Three games end in ties and five others are decided by one goal, including two in overtime. Among the one-goal games was the Oilers' 7-6 victory against the Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California, a game where Los Angeles forward Bernie Nicholls scores his 49th and 50th goals in the Kings' 50th game.

 

1992: Brett Hull of the St. Louis Blues becomes the second player in NHL history to have back-to-back seasons of 50 goals in 50 games or less when he scores against the Kings in a 3-3 tie in Los Angeles. The only other player to do so is Gretzky in 1983-84 and 1984-85.

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