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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 1: Plante debuts mask in NHL game

Plus: Red Wings form 'Production Line'; James becomes League's first U.S.-born Black player

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 goalie 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 goalies 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 wins two games and ties one 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.


1981: Val James becomes the first U.S.-born Black player to play in the NHL when he takes the ice for the Buffalo Sabres in their 6-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Memorial Auditorium. James, a native of Ocala, Florida, who grows up on Long Island before playing two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, plays a total of seven games for the Sabres in 1981-82 and four more with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1986-87 during a decade-long pro career.


1984: Mike Bossy scores four goals for the New York Islanders during a 6-5 overtime loss at Montreal, extending his season-opening goal-scoring streak to 10 games. Brent Sutter assists on all four goals. Bossy scores 17 times during the streak, which ends two nights later against the Quebec Nordiques.


1985: Sabres rookie Daren Puppa becomes the 17th goalie 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 in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-4 win at the Tampa Bay Lightning to extend his team-record goal-scoring streak to 12 games. 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, until July 2, 2017, when Marleau signs as a free agent with the Maple Leafs. They reunite when the Sharks sign Marleau as a free agent on Oct. 9, 2019.


2018: The Canadiens set an NHL record by scoring the final two goals of their 6-4 win against the Washington Capitals at Bell Centre in two seconds. Montreal's Max Domi scores at 19:38 of the third period to put the Canadiens ahead 5-4, and Joel Armia hits the empty net at 19:40. The previous mark for fastest two goals by one team is three seconds, set by the St. Louis Eagles on March 12, 1935, and matched by the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 21, 2004 and the New York Islanders on Nov. 30, 2016.


2019: David Perron scores the fastest overtime goal in St. Louis Blues history when he scores eight seconds into OT for a 4-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Enterprise Center. He also joins Joe Mullen (Nov. 12-16, 1985) as the only players in Blues history to score two overtime goals in a span of three games.

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