Skip to Main Content
This Date in NHL History

Nov. 28: Smith first NHL goalie credited with goal

Plus: Vezina plays final game; Howe breaks assists mark

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Memories: Smith scores a goal

Memories: Smith is first goalie credited with a goal

On November 28, 1979, New York Islanders netminder Billy Smith became the first goaltender in NHL history to be credited with a goal

  • 00:52 •


1979: Billy Smith of the New York Islanders becomes the first goalie in NHL history to be credited with a goal.

Smith makes a save on a shot by Colorado Rockies defenseman Rob Ramage during a delayed penalty and is the last player on the Islanders to touch the puck before Ramage backpasses it all the way into his own empty net.

"[Ramage] came in and took the shot and it bounced off of me and he picked it up in the corner," Smith remembers years later. "Without looking, he fired it back to the point and it went all the way down the ice into the net. Who was the last guy on the other team to touch the puck? It was me, so I got credit for the goal."

Despite the gift goal, the Islanders lose 7-4 in Denver.

Video: Isles Billy Smith 1st goalie to be credited with goal



1925: Montreal Canadiens goalie Georges Vezina, playing in his 328th straight game, collapses during a 1-0 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's diagnosed with tuberculosis and dies four months later. The Vezina Trophy, now awarded annually to the goalie voted as the NHL's best, is donated in his name.

Video: Georges Vezina was ironman goalie for the Canadiens


1931: The Toronto Maple Leafs hire Dick Irvin as coach. He gets the job one day after Art Duncan is fired. The Maple Leafs defeat the Boston Bruins 6-5 in overtime that night and finish the season by winning the Stanley Cup.


1954: Leo Labine of the Bruins scores three goals in 4:22 and has three assists in a 6-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Boston Garden. All three of the goals and two of the assists come in the second period, when Labine ties the NHL record for most points in a period.


1957: Gordie Howe has an assist on a third-period goal by Dutch Reibel during Detroit's 3-3 tie against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Olympia Stadium to become the NHL's all-time assist leader. It's the 409th of his career, breaking the record that had been held by Montreal's Elmer Lach.

Video: Gordie Howe, 'Mr. Hockey,' enjoyed five-decade career


1958: The Maple Leafs fire coach Billy Reay and replace him with Punch Imlach. He guides the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup Final in 1959 and 1960. With Imlach as general manager and coach, the Maple Leafs win the Cup from 1962-64 and again in 1967.


2001: Bryan Murray becomes the eighth coach in NHL history to reach the 1,000-game milestone, although his Mighty Ducks of Anaheim lose 2-0 to the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton's Jussi Markkanen makes 27 saves to become the 14th goalie in League history to have a shutout in his first appearance.


2009: The Atlanta Thrashers end a 14-game losing streak to the Philadelphia Flyers with a 1-0 victory at Philips Arena. Johan Hedberg makes 34 saves, and Rich Peverley scores for Atlanta, which hadn't defeated Philadelphia since Nov. 18, 2005.


2014: Martin St. Louis gets the 1,000th point of his NHL career when he scores a second-period goal for the New York Rangers in a 3-0 win against the Flyers. At 39 years and 163 days, St. Louis is the third-oldest player at the time to reach 1,000 points, behind Ray Whitney (39 years, 328 days) and Nicklas Lidstrom (39 years, 170 days). St. Louis is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

Video: Hradek and Smith reflect on Martin St. Louis' career


2019: The Canadiens allow at least six goals for a third straight game when they lose 6-4 to the New Jersey Devils at Bell Centre. It's the first time since Oct. 13-19, 1985, that the Canadiens surrender six goals in each of three consecutive games. Two of the goals are scored by Blake Coleman, who also has two assists to help the Devils defeat the Canadiens for the seventh consecutive time.

View More