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This Date in NHL History

March 2: Lemieux returns to Penguins after cancer treatments

Plus: Selanne breaks rookie goal-scoring record; Blues win 10th straight road game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: March 2

1993: Mario Lemieux and Teemu Selanne each has a night he'll never forget.

Lemieux starts his day in Pittsburgh finishing his 22nd and final radiation treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, then joins the Pittsburgh Penguins in Philadelphia for their game against the Flyers.

Lemieux's return is a surprise even to his own teammates, and he's bathed in applause by the Spectrum crowd when he stands near the boards before the national anthem.

"Every time you have an injury like this or cancer or anything like this, you have to have a lot of courage, and if you don't, you won't win the battle," he says afterward. "But it's in my nature to fight back."

Amazingly, though Lemieux hasn't played since Jan. 5, he scores a goal, his 40th of the season, 1:54 into the second period against goaltender Dominic Roussel. He assists on a goal by Kevin Stevens 1:35 later.

Despite Lemieux's return, the Flyers win 5-4.

Video: Memories: Lemieux makes return after cancer treatment

 

Selanne breaks the NHL record for goals by a rookie, passing Mike Bossy, by scoring three times for the Winnipeg Jets.

Two nights after scoring four goals to become the third 50-goal rookie in NHL history, Selanne stays hot against the visiting Quebec Nordiques. He scores his 52nd of the season 15 seconds into the game and ties the mark set by Bossy in 1977-78 late in the second period with his 53rd.

With the crowd at Winnipeg Arena rocking every time he steps onto the ice, Selanne breaks the record at 9:26 of the third period. Tie Domi lobs a long, high pass from his own zone; Selanne evades defenseman Adam Foote, gets to the puck before goaltender Stephane Fiset and chips it into the net for No. 54. The game stops as the Jets pour off the bench to mob Selanne. 

The one thing Lemieux and Selanne have in common is the outcome. Though Selanne's goal gives Winnipeg a 4-3 lead, the Nordiques rally to score four goals and leave with a 7-4 victory.

Video: Memories: Selanne sets new rookie record for goals

 

MORE MOMENTS

1918: Joe Malone doesn't score in the Montreal Canadiens' 5-3 season-ending loss to the Toronto Arenas, but he finishes the first NHL season with a League-high 44 goals in 22 games. It's an NHL record that stands until 1944-45, when Maurice Richard scores 50 goals in 50 games.

 

1966: Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks becomes the NHL's first two-time 50-goal scorer. Hull gets No. 50, matching his total from 1961-62, when he scores against Hank Bassen at 5:15 of the third period in a 5-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Stadium.

On the same night, Jean Beliveau moves into third place on the all-time goal-scoring list. Montreal's captain scores the 380th goal of his career, passing Ted Lindsay, in a 3-3 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Beliveau passes Ted Lindsay, leaving only Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe ahead of him.

 

1969: Phil Esposito becomes the first player in NHL history to have 100 points in a season when he scores two third-period goals in the Boston Bruins' 4-0 victory against the Penguins at Boston Garden. The milestone comes one night after he breaks the single-season points record of 97 held by Stan Mikita of the Blackhawks.

Video: Memories: Esposito first player to tally 100 points

 

1972: Bobby Orr of the Bruins become the third player in NHL history to have three 100-point seasons. His 100th point is assist in a 7-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Boston Garden. The assist comes on the third of Esposito's three goals; Orr also scores in the third period for point No. 101.

 

1975: Rod Gilbert of the New York Rangers has a five-assist night against the Penguins at Madison Square Garden, including one on each of former Pittsburgh forward Greg Polis' three goals. However, the Penguins win the game 8-6. Former Rangers captain Vic Hadfield scores his second goal of the game midway through the third period to break a 6-6 tie.

 

1976: Bryan Trottier of the New York Islanders ties the NHL rookie records for assists (52, by Jude Drouin) and points (77, by Marcel Dionne) with an assist on a second-period goal by Billy Harris in a 2-1 victory against the California Seals at Nassau Coliseum. Drouin, now a teammate with the Islanders, scores the winning goal in the third period.

 

1991: Brett Hull becomes a 70-goal scorer for the second straight season and has three assists to help the St. Louis Blues earn a 4-4 tie against the Flyers at the Spectrum. Hull finishes with an NHL career-best 86 goals, the second of three consecutive seasons he reaches 70.

Video: Brett Hull fourth leading goal-scorer in NHL

 

1995: Joe Mullen becomes the second NHL player to appear in 300 NHL games with three different teams when he plays (and scores a goal) for the Penguins in a 6-3 loss at the Buffalo Sabres. Mullen goes on to play 379 games with Pittsburgh after playing in 301 with the St. Louis Blues and 345 with the Calgary Flames. He matches the record set by Bill Gadsby, who plays in 300 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings from 1946-66.

 

2000: The Blues become the second team in NHL history to win 10 consecutive road games when they defeat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-2 at Philips Arena. Pavol Demitra scores his 100th NHL goal to help the Blues tie the mark set by the Sabres in 1983-84.

On the same night, Mark Messier of the Vancouver Canucks scores a goal in a 3-1 victory against the visiting Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to become the fourth player in NHL history with 1,700 points.

 

2001: Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils becomes the third goalie in NHL history to have six consecutive 30-win seasons. He gets win No. 30 of the 2000-01 season when the Devils defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-3 at East Rutherford, New Jersey.

 

2018: Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers becomes the third goalie in NHL history to make at least 50 saves in consecutive games -- and the first goalie to win both of them. Two days after a 50-save performance in a 6-5 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks, Lundqvist makes 50 saves in a 3-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Lundqvist also becomes the first NHL goalie to have multiple 50-save wins in the same season since Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers in 2003-04.

Lundqvist's second straight 50-save win comes exactly one year after he ties Grant Fuhr for 10th place on the NHL's all-time wins list on his 35th birthday by making 21 saves for the Rangers in a 2-1 win against the Bruins at TD Garden.


2019: The Tampa Bay Lightning tie the NHL record for the fewest games needed to reach 50 wins when they defeat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 at Amalie Arena. Win No. 50 comes in the Lightning's 66th game, equaling the mark set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96. The Lightning get goals from Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak, marking the first time since Tampa Bay enters the NHL in 1992 that it has four defensemen score in the same game.

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