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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 1: Plante wears mask for first time in NHL game

Plus: Red Wings form 'Production Line'; Lemieux's goal-scoring streak hits 12 games

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Memories: Plante dons iconic mask

Memories: Plante becomes first goalie to wear a mask

On November 1, 1959, following a gruesome injury, Jacques Plante returns to the game and becomes the first NHL goalie to wear a protective mask

  • 01:03 •


1959: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante makes history when he wears a mask during an NHL game for the first time.

Plante is cut by a rising shot taken by New York Rangers forward Andy Bathgate 3:06 into the first period of a game at Madison Square Garden. Plante goes off for repairs; when he returns, he's wearing a fiberglass mask. Plante has been using one in practice, but this is the first time he plays with one during a game.

The Canadiens win the game 3-1, and Plante insists to coach Toe Blake that he will no longer play without the mask. Blake, who's been opposed to the mask, relents. The facial protection catches on; within a few years most goalies wear one, and by the end of the 1973-74 season there are no more bare-faced goaltenders in the NHL.

The debut of Plante's mask comes seven years to the day he plays his first NHL game. With Gerry McNeil sidelined by injury, Plante defeats the Rangers 4-1 in his first NHL start. He goes 2-0-1 before being returned to the Montreal Royals.



1924: The NHL officially comes to the United States when the Boston Bruins join the League. The NHL expands to six franchises by adding the Bruins and Montreal Maroons.


1947: Under new coach Tommy Ivan, the Detroit Red Wings' famed "Production Line" of right wing Gordie Howe, center Sid Abel and left wing Ted Lindsay becomes a regular unit for the first time. The nickname is a nod to Detroit's automotive industry as well as the line's offensive prowess.

Video: Sid Abel formed 'Production Line' with Howe, Lindsay


1975: Billy Reay of the Chicago Blackhawks becomes the second man to coach 1,000 NHL games. The milestone comes in a 3-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Olympia Stadium.


1985: Buffalo Sabres rookie Daren Puppa becomes the 17th goaltender to have a shutout in his first NHL game. Puppa makes 37 saves in a 2-0 victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers at Northlands Coliseum. Ten of his saves come against Wayne Gretzky.


1992: Mario Lemieux scores twice to extend his team-record goal-scoring streak to 12 games in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-4 win at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lemieux scores 18 goals during the 12-game streak.


2006: Pittsburgh rookie Evgeni Malkin becomes the first player since 1917-18, the NHL's first season, to score a goal in six straight games from the start of his career. Malkin scores his second of the game at 2:45 of overtime to give the Penguins a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. 

2017: Joe Thornton becomes the 20th player in NHL history with 1,400 points when he has an assist on Joe Pavelski's second-period goal in the San Jose Sharks' 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators at SAP Center. On the same night, longtime teammate Patrick Marleau becomes the eighth player in League history to have 100 game-winning goals when he scores 1:09 into the third period of a 3-1 win by the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The two are teammates from Nov. 30, 2005, when the Sharks acquire Thornton in a trade with the Boston Bruins, to July 2, 2017, when Marleau signs as a free agent with the Maple Leafs.

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