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This Date in NHL History

March 21: Tugnutt makes 70 saves for Nordiques

Plus: CBC televises NHL game for first time; Orr delivers on promise

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Memories: Tugnutt's 70-save game

Memories: Tugnutt turns away 70 shots

On March 21, 1991 Ron Tugnutt performed one of the best goaltending games in history, turning aside 70 shots and carrying his team to overtime

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1991: Ron Tugnutt makes 70 saves to give the Quebec Nordiques a 3-3 tie with the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden.

Tugnutt stops all 17 shots he faces in the first period, makes 18 saves on 19 shots in the second and 23 on 25 shots in the third. He and the Nordiques survive Boston's 12-shot barrage during the five-minute overtime to earn a point.

Boston defenseman Ray Bourque sets an NHL record when he's credited with 19 shots on goal. Bourque scores the tying goal midway through the third period after defenseman Alexei Gusarov gives Quebec a 3-2 lead at 4:15 of the third, but is robbed in the final seconds of overtime when Tugnut gets his glove on his wide-open blast from the slot.

The Bruins outshoot the Nordiques 73-26; the 70 saves are the most by a goalie in a game since shots on goal becomes an official statistic in 1955-56.

The memory of his big night is one Tugnutt still savors decades later.

"It puts a big smile on my face, remembering a special day in my career," he says in 2020. "My two boys, usually through Twitter, watch the video that circulates. I enjoy them as well. The older I get, the better I was."



1921: More than 11,000 fans jam the Vancouver Arena for the first game of the Stanley Cup Final to see the Millionaires defeat the Ottawa Senators 3-1. At the time, it's the largest crowd ever to watch a hockey game.


1939: Mel Hill scores at 59:25 of overtime and Bill Cowley has a goal and an assist to give the Bruins a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals at Madison Square Garden. The rookie forward goes on to score three overtime goals to help Boston win the series in seven games.


1948: Montreal Canadiens center Elmer Lach scores twice in the final game of the season to win the Art Ross Trophy by one point over Buddy O'Connor of the Rangers. However, Lach's big night in a 4-3 loss to the Bruins at Boston Garden isn't enough to help the Canadiens avoid missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 1940. Lach finishes the season with 61 points (30 goals, 31 assists), one more than O'Connor (24 goals, 36 assists) in the same 60 games.

Video: Elmer Lach was rugged center for famed 'Punch' line


1951: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation televises an NHL game for the first time. The game, between the Canadiens and host Toronto Maple Leafs, is viewed by six people, with CBC having its cameras transmit images to a television in the radio control room at Maple Leaf Gardens.


1974: Bobby Orr scores three goals for his fifth NHL hat trick and reaches the 30-goal mark after promising a gravely ill 16-year-old boy he will score a goal for him. The Bruins defeat the St. Louis Blues 7-0 at Boston Garden.


1985: Washington Capitals forward Bobby Carpenter becomes the first U.S.-born player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season. He reaches the milestone in a 3-2 loss to the Canadiens at the Forum.


1993: Mario Lemieux and Kevin Stevens each score in the first period for the Pittsburgh Penguins during a 6-4 victory against the Edmonton Oilers in a neutral-site game at Cleveland. It's the 50th goal for each; they become the first teammates in NHL history to reach 50 goals in the same game.


2002: Martin Brodeur ties an NHL record with his seventh straight 30-win season when the visiting New Jersey Devils defeat the Nashville Predators 4-3. Brodeur joins Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden as the only goalies to win 30 games in seven straight seasons.


2013: Brodeur is credited with a power-play goal in the first period of a 4-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Brodeur, making his return after missing 13 games with a pinched nerve in his neck, makes a save during a delayed penalty while the Devils have a 5-on-4 manpower advantage, then sees a backpass by Carolina center Jordan Staal slide into the vacated net after goalie Dan Ellis starts to leave the ice for an extra attacker; Ellis tries to get back but is too late. It's Brodeur's second regular-season goal.


2018: Despite losing 2-1 in overtime to the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center, the Boston Bruins reach the 100-point mark for the 22nd time, more than any other team. The Bruins (45-17-10) also become the third team to clinch a berth in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's their 71st trip to the playoffs since entering the NHL in 192r4.

On the same night, Sidney Crosby scores a highlight-reel goal and gets his 700th NHL assist in Pittsburgh's5-3 victory against the Canadiens at PPG Paints Arena. Crosby is the 53rd player in NHL history to have 700 assists.

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