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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 1: Plante first goalie to wear mask

Plus: Bruins become first American team in League; Lemieux extends goal-scoring streak to 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

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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 in NHL history 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. 

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