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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 5: Ovechkin makes NHL debut with Capitals

Plus: Gretzky begins record scoring streak; Detroit becomes Red Wings

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2005: For the first time in NHL history, all 30 teams play on the same night.

In Washington, Alex Ovechkin's NHL debut is a harbinger of things to come. Ovechkin becomes the first Washington Capitals player to score twice in his first NHL game, a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin, the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, ties the game 1-1 when he scores his first NHL goal at 7:21 of the second period. His second goal comes at 11:51 and gets the Capitals even at 2-2. Dainius Zubrus scores the go-ahead goal five minutes later. The goals are the first of 52 that Ovechkin scores on his way to winning the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie and being named an NHL First-Team All-Star for the first of three consecutive seasons.

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson makes history of a different kind. He scores the deciding goal to give the Senators a 3-2 shootout victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in the first NHL game to be decided in a shootout.

Video: Memories: Ottawa Senators win First NHL shootout



1932: Detroit's NHL team is renamed the Red Wings; the team logo is changed to a winged wheel and red uniforms are introduced. It's the third name for the franchise known as the Detroit Cougars from 1926-30 and the Detroit Falcons from 1930-32.


1976: The NHL comes to Denver when the Colorado Rockies play their first game after relocating from Kansas City. The Rockies defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2, with rookie forward Larry Skinner scoring the first goal. The franchise relocates again in 1982, this time to New Jersey. Exactly six years after playing their first game in Denver, the twice-relocated New Jersey Devils also play their first NHL game, a 3-3 tie with the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.


1983: Wayne Gretzky begins his NHL-record 51-game scoring streak with a goal and an assist to help the Edmonton Oilers defeat Toronto 5-4 at Northlands Coliseum. Gretzky gets at least one point in every Oilers game until Jan. 28.

On the same night, two other future Hall of Famers score milestone NHL goals. Rookie center Steve Yzerman gets his first in the Red Wings' 6-6 tie at the Winnipeg Jets. Los Angeles Kings center Marcel Dionne passes Maurice Richard for fifth place on the all-time list by scoring the 545th of his career and second of the game in a 3-3 tie against the Minnesota North Stars at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

Video: Steve Yzerman was Detroit's captain for 19 seasons


1990: Kevin Stevens sets an NHL record for most points in a season-opening game when he scores two goals and has four assists for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 7-4 victory against Washington at Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland.


1993: The Dallas Stars defeat the Red Wings 6-4 at Reunion Arena in their first NHL game since relocating from Minnesota. Neal Broten scores twice for the Stars and Andy Moog makes 31 saves.


2017: The Red Wings open Little Caesars Arena by defeating the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg scores at 7:07 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie, and goalie Jimmy Howard makes 37 saves for his 200th NHL victory.


2018: Erik Karlsson makes an instant impact in his first game with the San Jose Sharks. The two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, acquired from the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13, assists on Kevin Labanc's overtime goal in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.


2019: Mika Zibanejad scores three goals and has an assist for his second straight four-point game to help the New York Rangers defeat the Senators 4-1 at Canadian Tire Centre. It's the ninth hat trick in Rangers history to include goals at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded. Zibanejad also becomes the 10th NHL player since 1945-46 to have at least eight points in his team's first two games, and the fourth in that span to have at least four points in each game.

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