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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 11: Lemieux scores on first shift in debut with Penguins

Plus: Howe returns to NHL with Whalers; Gretzky gets 50th hat trick

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Memories: Lemieux's NHL debut

Memories: Mario Lemieux makes his NHL debut

On October 11th, 1984, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Mario Lemieux makes his NHL debut against the Boston Bruins, scoring on his first NHL shift

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1984: Mario Lemieux wastes no time announcing his arrival in the NHL, scoring a goal on his first shot, on his first shift, in his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lemieux pokes the puck past All-Star defenseman Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins, races in on a breakaway and beats goalie Pete Peeters 2:59 into the game. The No. 1 pick in the 1984 NHL Draft also assists on the second of two goals by Warren Young, but the Penguins fail to hold leads of 2-0 and 3-1, losing 4-3 at Boston Garden. Bourque scores the winning goal with 5:32 remaining in the third period.

Video: Mario Lemieux scored 100 points 10 different times



1924: The Bruins and Montreal Maroons are granted NHL franchises for $15,000 each. The Bruins, who become the first U.S. team to join the League, name Art Ross as their general manager.


1930: The Toronto Maple Leafs acquire King Clancy in a trade from Ottawa in exchange for Art Smith, Eric Pettinger and $35,000. The cash involved is a record payment for any hockey player.

Video: Star defenseman King Clancy did everything in hockey


1961: Jean Beliveau is named captain of the Montreal Canadiens. He succeeds Doug Harvey, who's traded to the New York Rangers on June 13. Harvey, serving as player-coach, scores a goal in his debut to help the Rangers defeat the Bruins 6-2 at Boston Garden.

Video: Jean Beliveau's name is on Stanley Cup 17 times


1975: Guy Lafleur of the Canadiens becomes the first player in NHL history to have at least three points in each of his team's first three games of a season. Lafleur scores a goal and has two assists in Montreal's 7-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at the Forum.


1979: After retiring from the Red Wings in 1971, Gordie Howe returns to play in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers. He goes scoreless in Hartford's 4-1 loss to the Minnesota North Stars at Met Center. It's the first NHL game for the Whalers after they are one of four teams from the World Hockey Association that join the League for the 1979-80 season.

Video: Six NHL legends immortalized as Canada Post stamps


1987: The longest consecutive games streak in NHL history ends at 964 games when Whalers forward Doug Jarvis doesn't dress for Hartford's 5-2 loss to the Bruins at Boston Garden. Jarvis is then sent to the minors and never plays another NHL game.


1997: Wayne Gretzky scores three goals for his 50th NHL hat trick and first with the New York Rangers in a 6-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place. Gretzky also has assists on two goals by defenseman Bruce Driver for his 66th five-point game in the NHL.


2001: Peter Laviolette becomes the first coach in NHL history to begin his career with four consecutive road victories when the New York Islanders defeat the New Jersey Devils 6-4 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


2014: The Minnesota Wild become the fifth team since the adoption of the red line in 1943 to begin a season with back-to-back shutouts by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 at Pepsi Center. The win comes two nights after the Wild's 5-0 victory against Colorado at Xcel Energy Center. Less than an hour after the Wild complete their second shutout, the San Jose Sharks match that accomplishment when they defeat the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 at SAP Center; that victory comes three nights after San Jose starts its season by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 4-0 at Staples Center. The Wild and Sharks join the 1955-56 Montreal Canadiens, the 1973-74 Philadelphia Flyers, the 2001-02 Calgary Flames and the 2005-06 Florida Panthers as the only teams to begin their season with consecutive shutouts.


2017: Jaromir Jagr, plays for his ninth NHL team when he takes the ice for the Flames against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. The 45-year-old forward, the second-leading scorer in League history, plays 13:38 but goes without a point in Calgary's 4-3 overtime victory.


2018: Auston Matthews scores two goals and John Tavares has four assists for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-3 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. The goals are the eighth and ninth for Matthews in Toronto's first five games. He becomes the third player to score in each of Toronto's first five games in a season, joining Sweeney Schriner of the 1944-45 Maple Leafs (nine goals in six games), and Corb Denneny of the 1921-22 St. Patricks (seven goals in five games).

Video: Matthews nets two, Tavares adds four assists in win


2019: The Carolina Hurricanes set a franchise record for wins from the start of a season when they defeat the New York Islanders 5-2 at PNC Arena. It's the first time in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history that they start 5-0-0.

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