THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Jan. 6
1993: Los Angeles Kings forward Wayne Gretzky makes a historic return after missing 38 games because of a herniated disc by playing in his 1,000th NHL game. Gretzky takes his first shift 48 seconds into the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Forum. The shift lasts 45 seconds, and he doesn't touch the puck.
The Lightning lead 4-0 early in the second period when Gretzky assists on a power-play goal by defenseman Rob Blake, after which his teammates finally feel free enough to smack him on the back. Gretzky also sets up the second of Mike Donnelly's two goals later in the period to make it 4-3, but the Lightning add goals by Mike Hartman and Bob Beers for a 6-3 victory.
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 goal scorer, 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 goaltender Semyon Varlamov stops them all in a 2-0 victory at United Center. Varlamov's 54 saves are the most by an NHL goaltender 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.