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This Date in NHL History

Jan. 6: Gretzky plays 1,000th NHL game

Plus: Flyers extend undefeated streak to 35 games; Tonelli scores five goals for Islanders

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1993: Wayne Gretzky makes a historic return after missing 38 games because of a herniated disk by playing in his 1,000th NHL game.

Gretzky takes his first shift 48 seconds into the Los Angeles Kings' game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The shift lasts 45 seconds, and he doesn't touch the puck. He ends up with one assist in the Kings' 6-3 loss.

Gretzky plays 45 regular-season games for the Kings in 1992-93, and has 65 points (16 goals, 49 assists), then has 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games, helping the Kings reach the Final for the first time.



1980: The Philadelphia Flyers score twice in the third period to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 at Memorial Auditorium, extending their NHL-record undefeated streak to 35 games (25 wins, 10 ties). Bill Barber scores at 3:45 of the third period to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead, and Rick MacLeish makes it 4-2 with 5:13 remaining.

Video: Flyers from the 1979-80 team discuss unbeaten streak


1981: John Tonelli ties a New York Islanders record with five goals in a 6-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Nassau Coliseum. Tonelli scores once in the first period, once in the second and three times in the third. Mike Bossy, better known as a scorer than a playmaker, sets an Islanders record with six assists.


2000: Larry Murphy becomes the third NHL defenseman with 900 career assists when he sets up two goals in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-2 victory against the Nashville Predators. Steve Yzerman has a goal and three assists for Detroit.


2015: The Chicago Blackhawks take 54 shots on goal in their game against the Colorado Avalanche, but goalie Semyon Varlamov stops them all in a 2-0 victory at United Center. Varlamov's 54 saves are the most by an NHL goalie in a regular-season road shutout since the League officially begins tabulating shots on goal in the 1955-56 season.

On the same night, Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils reaches two career milestones during a 4-1 victory against the Sabres at Prudential Center. Elias gets his 600th NHL assist and becomes the 82nd player in League history with 1,000 career points.


2018: Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers makes 37 saves through overtime and three in a shootout for a 5-4 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. It's the 424th NHL win for Lundqvist, moving him past Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito for eighth place in League history.

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