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This Date in NHL History

March 18: Richard becomes first to score 50 goals in one season

Plus: Stanley Cup is born; Bourque gets No. 400

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


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.

1930: Howie Morenz scores five goals for his 10th NHL hat trick. That's more than enough to power the Montreal Canadiens to an 8-3 win against the New York Americans at the Forum. Morenz scores twice in the first period, once in the second and twice in the third.


1940: The Chicago Blackhawks take the first chartered flight in NHL history when they fly to Toronto for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1944: The Canadiens became the first NHL team to go undefeated at home for an entire regular season when Phil Watson has four assists in the third period of an 11-2 win against the New York Rangers. Montreal finishes the season 22-0 with three ties at the Forum. The Canadiens lose their playoff opener at home to Toronto, then win four in a row from the Maple Leafs and sweep Chicago to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1931.

1956: Montreal sets an NHL single-season record with its 45th victory, a 3-1 win against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Canadiens surpass the mark of 44 wins set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1950-51. Montreal forward Bert Olmstead makes history of his own with his 56th assist of the season, setting an NHL record for left wings.


1967: While sitting out with a bruised shoulder, Gordie Howe makes his NHL coaching debut with the Red Wings (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.


1971: Gilbert Perreault scores his 35th goal of the season, setting an NHL record for rookies, to help the Buffalo Sabres defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 at Memorial Auditorium. He surpasses the previous mark of 34 set by Nels Stewart of the Montreal Maroons in 1925-26 and equaled in 1968-69 by Danny Grant of the Minnesota North Stars and Norm Ferguson of the Oakland Seals.


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


1976: Johnny Bucyk of the Bruins becomes the second player in NHL history (behind Gordie Howe) to have 1,300 points. The milestone comes when he has two assists in a 5-2 victory against the Kansas City Scouts at Kemper Arena.


1984: Phil Housley of the Sabres became the youngest defenseman in NHL history to score 30 goals in one season. The 20-year-old gets No. 30 when he scores at 18:46 of the second period during a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Northlands Coliseum.


1986: Wayne Gretzky becomes a 50-goal scorer for the seventh consecutive season. No. 50 comes in the 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 at the Civic Arena 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 Blues' 3-1 road win against the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky joins Howe and 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 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 against 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.


2014: Henrik Lundqvist passes Mike Richter to become the winningest goalie in New York Rangers history. Lundqvist gets his 302nd NHL victory, all with the Rangers, by making 35 saves in New York's 8-4 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. Derick Brassard and Rick Nash each scores twice for the Rangers.


2019: The Tampa Bay Lightning win the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since entering the NHL in 1992 when they defeat the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 at Amalie Arena. The Lightning assure themselves of the NHL's best record in 73 games, the second-fewest ever since the award is first presented in 1986; only the 1995-96 Red Wings (71 games) do it faster.

On the same night, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks becomes the third 100-point scorer of 2018-19 when he has two assists in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks at United Center. Kane becomes the third player in Blackhawks history to have multiple 100-point seasons, as well as the second (behind Bobby Hull) to reach 100 points in a season after turning 30.

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