Skip to main content
This Date in NHL History

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

Plus: Messier scores in debut; League holds neutral-site games

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Oct. 13

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 franchises 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 in the NHL. He goes on to play all 80 games for the Whalers in 1979-80, finishing with 15 goals and 41 points 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 with 694 goals.

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

 

MORE MOMENTS

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.

 

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.

 

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 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.

 

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, which lost its NHL debut 1-0 to the Florida Panthers.

 

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.

View More