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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 2: Bourque sets NHL career record for goals by defenseman

Plus: Thrashers make regular-season debut; Matthews scores in fourth straight opener

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1999: Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins becomes the all-time leading goal-scorer among NHL defensemen when he scores the 386th of his career, passing Paul Coffey.

The goal comes 1:42 into the second period of the Bruins' first game of the season, when his power-play slap shot from the top of the left circle beats Carolina Hurricanes goalie Arturs Irbe. It's the only goal of the game for the Bruins, who lose 3-1 at Fleet Center.

Bourque finishes his career in 2001 with 410 goals, still the most by a defenseman in NHL history.

Video: Ray Bourque capped career with dramatic Cup in 2001



1955: Dutch Reibel of the Detroit Red Wings sets an NHL All-Star Game record with 10 shots on goal. The defending Stanley Cup champions defeat the All-Stars 3-1 at Olympia Stadium.


1999: The Atlanta Thrashers play the first regular-season game in their history, a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils in front of a full house of 18,545 at Phillips Arena. Kelly Buchberger, named team captain a few days earlier, scores the first goal in Thrashers history, at 11:26 of the second period, but it's the only one of Atlanta's 26 shots to get past Martin Brodeur.

On the same night, goalie Kevin Weekes' career-opening 15-game winless streak ends when he makes 32 saves in the Vancouver Canucks' 2-1 victory against the New York Rangers. It's the first victory for Weekes after he starts his NHL career by going 0-13-2.


2009: Ville Koistinen puts on a show for the home fans in the first NHL regular-season game played in Finland. Koistinen, a defenseman from Oulu, Finland, scores a goal in regulation and scores the shootout winner in the Florida Panthers' 4-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. He wins the game by roofing a backhander under the crossbar behind Cristobal Huet. Goalie Tomas Vokoun is the other hero for the Panthers, making 52 saves.

On the same night, Paul Kariya scores two goals to help the St. Louis Blues rally for a 4-3 win against the Red Wings. The game, played in Stockholm, Sweden, is part of the NHL Premiere series.


2013: The Red Wings make a successful return to in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena in their season opener. Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk score 36 seconds apart in the first period for Detroit, which moves back to the East after playing in the Western Conference since NHL realignment in 1993-94.


2019: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs ties an NHL record by scoring in the fourth consecutive season-opening game from the start of his career. He scores two goals, including the game-winner, in Toronto's 5-3 win against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. Matthews joins Hockey Hall of Famers Dit Clapper (1927-28 through 1930-31), Dave Andreychuk (1982-83 through 1985-86) and Sergei Fedorov (1990-91 through 1993-94) as the only players in League history to score goals in each of their first four season openers.

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