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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 13: Howe scores first NHL goal in eight years

Plus: NHL begins neutral-site games; Ducks, Predators earn initial wins

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1979: Gordie Howe shows he hasn't lost his scoring touch.

Howe, 51, who hasn't played an NHL game since retiring from the Detroit Red Wings after the 1970-71 season, scores a first-period goal in the Hartford Whalers' 3-3 tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Civic Center.

It's Howe's second NHL game with the Whalers, one of four teams that join the League from the World Hockey Association in 1979. For Howe, who plays in the WHA from 1973-79, it's his 787th NHL goal. He goes on to play all 80 games for the Whalers in 1979-80, finishing with 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) before retiring for good.

On the same night, rookie Mark Messier scores the first goal of his NHL career in the Edmonton Oilers' 3-3 tie against the Detroit Red Wings. It's the first NHL home game at Northlands Coliseum for the Oilers, another of the new arrivals from the WHA. Messier finishes his NHL career with 694 goals.

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



1947: The NHL holds its first All-Star Game with the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs playing a group of stars from the other five teams at Maple Leaf Gardens. The All-Stars, wearing red sweaters with white stripes and white stars above the NHL shield, rally for a 4-3 victory. Doug Bentley scores the winning goal early in the third period. The game benefits the players pension fund.


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. In his first game as captain, Beliveau scores a first-period goal and assists on two others in a 4-3 win against the Red Wings at the Forum.

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


1970: Roger Doucet sings "O Canada" for the first time at the Forum, prior to the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 win against the Red Wings. He remains the Forum's national anthem singer for the next 10 years.


1973: Gump Worsley, one of the last NHL goalies to play without a mask, dons one in a game for the first time in his NHL career. He makes 30 saves for the Minnesota North Stars, but the Buffalo Sabres score twice in the third period to win 4-3 at Met Center.


1992: The NHL begins its practice of having each team play two neutral-site games per season when the Calgary Flames defeat the Minnesota North Stars 4-3 before a crowd of 8,783 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Neutral-site games are played during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.


1993: The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim earn the first victory in their history by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Arrowhead Pond. The Ducks score the game's first four goals, then hang on and survive an Edmonton rally. Ron Tugnutt makes 28 saves for the win, which comes in Anaheim's third NHL game.

On the same night, the New York Rangers set a team record by scoring six power-play goals (on seven attempts), helping them rally from three goals down to defeat the Quebec Nordiques 6-4 at Madison Square Garden. Brian Leetch scores two goals and has two assists to spark the comeback.


1998: The Nashville Predators win for the first time in their history when they defeat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in their second NHL game. All the scoring comes in the first period. Andrew Brunette scores the first goal in Predators history at 5:12, and defenseman J.J. Daigneault's goal at 12:18 of the period stands up as the game-winner. Mike Dunham makes 34 saves for Nashville three nights after the Predators lose 1-0 to the Florida Panthers in their NHL debut.


2015: The Canadiens defeat the Penguins 3-2 at Consol Energy Center to improve to 4-0-0, the first time they've started a season with four consecutive wins since 1977. Tomas Fleischmann's goal at 5:20 of the third period breaks a 2-2 tie. The Penguins drop to 0-3-0, their worst start since going 0-5-4 in 2005-06, Sidney Crosby's first season in the League.


2017: Alex Ovechkin becomes the fourth player in the NHL's expansion era (since 1967) to score nine goals in his team's first five games of the season. Ovechkin scores a power-play goal at 8:01 of the second period, helping the Washington Capitals defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 at Prudential Center.

Video: WSH@NJD: Ovechkin rips home a power-play goal

2019: Patrick Marleau has an assist in his homecoming at SAP Center when the San Jose Sharks defeat the Calgary Flames 3-1. Marleau gets a standing ovation when he takes the ice at home for the first time since re-signing with the Sharks five days earlier, then assists on a goal by Timo Meier 3:04 into the game. It's a return home for Marleau, who plays his first 19 NHL seasons with the Sharks before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 2, 2017.

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