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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 30: 'Punch Line' debuts for Canadiens

Plus: Bodnar scores 15 seconds into NHL debut; goalie Hall plays in 500th straight game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1943: One of the most famous lines in NHL history makes its debut when the Montreal Canadiens open their season with a 2-2 tie against the Boston Bruins at the Forum.

Montreal coach Dick Irvin puts center Elmer Lach between left wing Toe Blake and right wing Maurice Richard (wearing No. 9 for the first time), a trio that quickly becomes known as the "Punch Line." Blake scores the tying goal against Boston with 4:28 remaining in the third period.

The trio helps the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup twice (1944 and 1946) before a broken leg forces Blake to retire in 1948. Lach sets an NHL single-season record in 1944-45 with 80 points in a 50-game schedule. Many of his 54 assists come on goals by Richard, who sets an NHL record with 50 goals in 50 games.

Though the Punch Line ends after Blake's injury forces his retirement, Lach remains with the Canadiens through the 1953-54 season, ending his career as the NHL's all-time scoring leader. Richard breaks that mark and sets an NHL record with 544 goals before his retirement in 1960.



1943: Gus Bodnar of the Toronto Maple Leafs sets an NHL record for the fastest goal by a player in his first NHL game. He scores 15 seconds into his NHL debut and later has another goal and an assist to help Toronto defeat the New York Rangers 5-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens.


1962: Glenn Hall plays in his 500th consecutive regular-season game, a 5-3 victory by the Chicago Blackhawks against the Rangers at Chicago Stadium.


1975: Johnny Bucyk becomes the seventh player in NHL history to score 500 career goals. He reaches the milestone by scoring in the first period of the Boston Bruins' 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at Boston Garden.

Video: Johnny Bucyk became leader of 'Big Bad Bruins'


1983: There are Sutters everywhere in a 6-2 victory by the New York Islanders against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum. Brent Sutter and Duane Sutter of the Islanders oppose twin brothers Rich Sutter and Ron Sutter of the Flyers. It's the first time four brothers play in the same NHL game. Brent has a big night with two goals and an assist. Duane has one assist; Rich and Ron are held without a point.


1998: The visiting Pittsburgh Penguins set an NHL record during a 2-2 tie against the Vancouver Canucks by scoring their ninth and 10th consecutive power-play goals. They break the mark of eight straight power-play goals set by the Buffalo Sabres in 1991-92.


2008: Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Steven Stamkos scores his first two NHL goals and has an assist in a 5-2 road win against the Buffalo Sabres. The goals come in his ninth NHL game. Stamkos, the No 1 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, finishes his rookie season with 23 goals.


2014: The New Jersey Devils end their NHL-record streak of 18 consecutive shootout losses by winning their game against the Winnipeg Jets. After the teams are tied 1-1 through overtime, New Jersey's Jacob Josefson scores the only goal in the shootout for a 2-1 win.

On the same night, Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks becomes the 80th player in NHL history to have 1,000 points in his career. He reaches the milestone with a goal at 13:50 of the third period during a 5-4 shootout victory against the Ottawa Senators, the team that originally selects him in the first round (No. 12) of the 1997 NHL Draft. It comes in his 1,100th NHL game.


2017: Andrei Vasilevskiy matches the NHL record for wins by a goalie in October. He finishes the month 10-1-0 by making 18 saves in the Lightning's 8-5 victory against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. Vasilevskiy equals the mark set by Manny Legace of the Red Wings in October 2005 and equaled by Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche four years later. It's also Vasilevskiy's ninth consecutive victory, a Lightning record.

Video: Lightning offense erupts in 8-5 win vs. Panthers

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