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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 17: Ovechkin born in Moscow

Plus: Expansion Sabres play first preseason game; Hall of Famer Lafleur makes debut for Canadiens

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1985: Left wing Alex Ovechkin, the first Russia-born player in NHL history to score 500 goals, is born in Moscow.

Ovechkin is taken by the Washington Capitals with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft and joins them for the start of the 2005-06 season. He wins the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie and is named a First-Team All-Star after scoring 52 goals and finishing with 106 points.

In 2007-08, Ovechkin becomes the first NHL player since 1995-96 to score at least 60 goals in a season when he gets 65. He scores at least 50 seven times in his first 11 seasons and wins the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer six times during that span.

In 2017, he is named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian.

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Ovechkin cranks one-timer past Andersen



1970: The Buffalo Sabres, one of two expansion teams joining the NHL, play the first game in team history, a 4-4 preseason tie against the New York Rangers in Peterborough, Ontario. Center Billy Inglis scored the first goal; however, he never scores a regular-season goal for the Sabres, finishing with one assist in 14 games.


1971: Future Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, the top pick in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft, plays his first game and has three assists for the Montreal Canadiens in a 7-4 win against the Boston Bruins at the Forum.

Video: Guy Lafleur won Cup five times in Montreal

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