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This Date in NHL History

Nov. 22: Canadiens win first NHL outdoor game

Plus: Kelly plays 1,000th game; Gretzky scores No. 500

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Memories: Making history outdoors

Memories: First regular season game played outdoors

On November 22, 2003, the Oilers and Canadiens met in the first ever outdoor NHL regular season game as the Habs won the Heritage Classic, 4-3

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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 Oilers and Canadiens, 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 goaltender 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 franchise plays its home games at the Olympia until Dec. 15, 1979, before moving to Joe Louis Arena.


1962: Red Kelly of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the third player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games. It comes in 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


1972: The Pittsburgh 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 goaltender 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.

2017: The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Anaheim 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 were 13-7-0 through their first 20 games in the NHL's first season.

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