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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 17: Alex Ovechkin born in Russia

Sabres tie Rangers in first preseason game in franchise history

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


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

Ovechkin is taken by the Washington Capitals with the first pick in the 2004 NHL Draft and joins the team 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 60 or more goals in a season when he gets 65. He scores 50 or more goals seven times in his first 11 season and wins the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer six times during that span.



1970: The Buffalo Sabres, one of two expansion teams joining the NHL, play the first game in team history, a 4-4 tie against the New York Rangers in a preseason game at 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 with Buffalo.

On the same night, 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 victory against the Boston Bruins at the Forum.

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