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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 12: Matthews sets NHL record with four-goal debut for Maple Leafs

Plus: Islanders earn first win; Canadiens extend unbeaten streak in season openers

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2016: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the first player in the modern era to score four goals in his first NHL game.

Matthews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, makes history when he scores his fourth goal of the game with three seconds remaining in the second period to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 lead against the Ottawa Senators. He surpasses the record of three goals in an NHL debut, held by four players.

Video: Memories: Matthews' record-breaking debut

However, Matthews' big night doesn't produce a Maple Leafs victory. The Senators tie the game in the third period, and Kyle Turris scores 37 seconds into overtime for a 5-4 victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

Matthews, who's up against Turris in the 3-on-3 overtime, accepts responsibility for the loss.

"More of an ideal start to your season individually I guess," he says. "But that last play was 100 percent my fault."



1972: Germain Gagnon scores with 1:09 remaining in the third period to give the expansion New York Islanders their first victory, 3-2 against the Los Angeles Kings at Nassau Coliseum. Rookie forward Billy Harris, the No. 1 pick in the 1972 NHL Draft, scores the first two goals for the Islanders.


1976: Don Murdoch of the New York Rangers ties the NHL record for most goals in a game by a rookie when he scores five times in a 10-4 win against the Minnesota North Stars at Met Center. Murdoch matches the mark set by Toronto's Howie Meeker on Jan. 8, 1947.


1977: The Montreal Canadiens extend their unbeaten streak in season-openers to 15 games (11 wins, four ties) by defeating the North Stars 7-3 at the Forum. Defenseman Guy Lapointe scores one goal and assists on two others for Montreal.


1980: The 100,000th goal in NHL history is one of the easiest. Toronto forward Wilf Paiement scores into an empty net with 14 seconds remaining to wrap up a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum. The milestone goal comes in the NHL's 64th season. It's part of a career season for Paiement, the No. 2 pick in the 1974 NHL Draft, who finishes with 40 goals and 97 points.


1996: Washington Capitals center Dale Hunter becomes the first NHL player to score 300 goals and be assessed 3,000 penalty minutes in his career. Goal No. 300 comes in Washington's 4-3 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings.


2005: Alex Ovechkin scores a goal to become the first player in Capitals history with points in each of his first five games with the team. The milestone comes in a 7-2 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.


2006: Ryan Smyth breaks one of Wayne Gretzky's team records when he scores three goals in a 2:01 span early in the third period to help the Edmonton Oilers defeat the San Jose Sharks 6-4 at Rexall Place. Smyth's fifth NHL hat trick breaks Gretzky's Oilers record for fastest three goals by 17 seconds.


2017: Roberto Luongo gets his 454th NHL victory, tying Curtis Joseph for fourth all-time. The milestone comes when he makes 37 saves for the Florida Panthers in a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at BB&T Center.


2019: The Edmonton Oilers set an NHL record when they spot the Rangers an early lead before winning 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. The victory gives the Oilers a 5-0-0 record and makes them the first team in League history to start a season by winning five games in which they trailed at some point in each. Leon Draisaitl scores two goals for the Oilers, who start their season with five straight wins for the first time since 1985-86.

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