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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 30: Canadiens debut 'Punch Line'

Plus: Goalie Hall plays in 500th straight game; Johnny Bucyk scores 500th goal

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Oct. 30

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." During their time together before a broken leg forces Blake to retire in 1948, the line helps the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup twice (1944 and 1946). Lach sets a single-season record in 1944-45 by finishing 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.

The Punch Line ceases to exist 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 after the 1959-60 season.

 

MORE MOMENTS

1943: Gus Bodnar of the Toronto Maple Leafs sets an NHL record for fastest goal by a rookie in his first 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: Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Glenn Hall plays in his 500th consecutive regular-season game, a 5-3 victory against the New York Rangers at Chicago Stadium.

 

1975: Boston Bruins forward 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 a 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. 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.

 

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 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.

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