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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 22: Canadiens top Oilers in first NHL outdoor game

Plus: Gretzky scores 500th goal; Red Wings open Olympia Stadium

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Retro Recap: 2003 - MTL @ EDM

Retro Recap: The First Heritage Classic

Ahead of the 2019 NHL Heritage Classic, watch the first ever Heritage Classic from 2003 between the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers

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2003: The NHL heads outdoors for the first time in its 86-year history. Before a record crowd of 57,167 fans at Commonwealth Stadium, the Montreal Canadiens edge the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in the Heritage Classic.

The celebration of hockey begins with a game between alumni of the two teams, including Wayne Gretzky from the Oilers and Guy Lafleur from the Canadiens. It even has a still-active Mark Messier of the New York Rangers, a member of Edmonton's dynasty in the 1980s. He gets permission from Glen Sather, Rangers general manager and the coach of Edmonton's alumni team, to play in the game.

The big crowd sits through bone-chilling cold to see the Oilers alumni win 2-0, then watches the Canadiens hold off the Oilers in the scheduled game. One player who comes up with a unique idea on keeping warm is Montreal goalie Jose Theodore, who comes out for warmups wearing a toque (wool cap) atop his mask and keeps it on throughout the game.



1927: Olympia Stadium in Detroit hosts its first NHL game. A crowd of 14,000 watches the Ottawa Senators defeat the Detroit Cougars (later the Red Wings) 2-1. The Cougars/Falcons/Red Wings play their home games at the Olympia until Dec. 15, 1979, before moving to Joe Louis Arena.


1930: The Toronto Maple Leafs become the first team in NHL history to open its season with five consecutive shutouts. The fifth one comes when Lorne Chabot is perfect in a 2-0 victory against the visiting Senators. Baldy Cotton and Charlie Conacher score for Toronto.


1962: Red Kelly of the Maple Leafs becomes the third player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games. Game No. 1,000 is a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium. Kelly finishes his Hockey Hall of Fame career with 1,316 games played, 846 with Detroit and 470 with Toronto.

Video: Red Kelly won Cup four times each with Wings, Leafs


1970: Bobby Hull scores three goals for his 25th NHL hat trick, helping the Blackhawks defeat the Oakland Seals 9-0 at Chicago Stadium. Tony Esposito makes 32 saves for his 20th NHL shutout.

On the same night, the Boston Bruins begin a 27-game home unbeaten streak by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 at Boston Garden. Ken Hodge scores two goals and has an assist. The Bruins go 26-0 with one tie until they lose to the New York Rangers on March 27.


1972: The Penguins set an NHL record that still stands by scoring five goals in a span of 2:07 during a 10-4 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues. Bryan Hextall Jr., Jean Pronovost, Al McDonough, Ken Schinkel and Ron Schock all score in the third period against goalie Wayne Stephenson.


1986: Gretzky gets his 39th NHL hat trick and reaches the 500-goal mark. The 25-year-old's milestone comes in a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Northlands Coliseum. Gretzky scores goal No. 500 in his 575th NHL game, the fastest it's been done in League history.

Exactly 13 years later, Gretzky is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame, which bypasses its regular three-year waiting period. He is inducted seven months after retiring from the League.

Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points


1999: Rookie forward Dean Sylvester scores his first three NHL goals and has an assist in the Atlanta Thrashers' 6-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Philips Arena. It's the first hat trick in Thrashers history.


2016: The New York Islanders get a goal by defenseman Nick Leddy in the 14th round of the shootout to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 at Honda Center. It's the longest shootout in the history of each team. The Ducks take the lead by scoring to start the fourth, sixth, eighth and 12th rounds, only to have the Islanders score each time to extend the game before Leddy beats Jonathan Bernier for the win.


2017: The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Ducks 4-2 at Honda Center to match the NHL record for most wins by a team through the first 20 games of its inaugural season. The win gives the Golden Knights a 13-6-1 record; the 1917-18 Montreal Canadiens go 13-7-0 through their first 20 games in the NHL's first season.

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