THIS DATE IN HISTORY: March 18
1945: Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in one season. Richard scores his 50th goal in 50 games to help the Canadiens defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2 at Boston Garden in their regular-season finale.
The Canadiens trail 2-1 late in the game and the Bruins have shut down Richard, giving him little room to move. But with 2:15 remaining, Richard gets free, takes a pass from Elmer Lach and beats Harvey Bennett for goal No, 50.
Richard then sets up Toe Blake for the goal that gives Montreal a 3-2 lead and Lach scores to complete the victory.
No NHL player will reach 50 goals in a season again until 1960-61, when Montreal's Bernie Geoffrion does it in a 70-game season. No one scores 50 goals in 50 games again until Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders does it in 1980-81.
Video: Maurice Richard remains cultural icon in Montreal
1892: Canada's sixth Governor General, Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, proposes the creation of what will become the Stanley Cup. Ottawa wins the 1892 Ontario Hockey Association title, and Lord Stanley of Preston, unable to attend the March 18 banquet, sends a letter to Lieutenant Viscount Frederick Rudolph Lambart Kilcoursie, his aide-de-camp, to be read at the event. His proposal is met with tremendously positive reaction. The Cup is awarded for the first time in 1893.
1940: The Chicago Blackhawks take the first chartered flight in history when they fly to Toronto for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1967: While sitting out with a bruised shoulder, Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe makes his NHL coaching debut (coach Sid Abel observes from the stands). The Red Wings lose 5-3 to the Bruins at Olympia Stadium, and Howe returns to his regular role at right wing for the next game.
1973: Bobby Orr scores a goal and has two assists to help the Bruins to a 7-1 win against the Atlanta Flames in Boston. The goal is the 600th point of his career; it comes in his 461st NHL game.
Video: Bobby Orr revolutionized defensive position
1986: Wayne Gretzky becomes a 50-goal scorer for the seventh consecutive season. No. 50 comes in the Edmonton Oilers' 6-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Northlands Coliseum.
1987: Mario Lemieux scores a goal and sets up two others in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-4 win against the St. Louis Blues to reach the 100-point mark. He becomes the fourth player in NHL history to have 100 or more points in each of his first three seasons.
1996: Gretzky scores his 1,000th pro hockey goal (including NHL, WHA, regular season and playoffs), in the St. Louis Blues' 3-1 road win against the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky joins Howe and Bobby Hull in the 1,000 pro goal club.
2000: Ray Bourque becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to score 400 goals in his career. The milestone goal comes in the Colorado Avalanche's 4-3 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings. It's the fifth goal in six games for Bourque since his trade to Colorado by the Bruins.
2001: Brett Hull scores three goals for his first hat trick as a member of the Dallas Stars in a 5-1 win over the visiting Ottawa Senators. It's the 29th hat trick of his NHL career, breaking the family record of 28 set by his dad, Bobby Hull.
2002: The Carolina Hurricanes extend their NHL record by playing their seventh straight home tie. Sami Kapanen scores with 10.4 seconds left in the third period to give the Hurricanes a 1-1 tie against the visiting Canadiens.